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TOUCHED BY THE HAND OF GOD

I give all the glory and praise to the Lord Jesus Christ for what He's done in my life. With Him on your side, it doesn't matter what you are going through, you've always got more blessings than problems.

My name is Joe Guzdziol. I was born physically normal, but something began to happen to my legs when I was about four years old. The many doctors I was taken to were unable to determine the cause, and eventually my condition was diagnosed as spastic paraparesis of lower bilateral extremities. Year by year my legs became more spastic and weaker. At age 11, I underwent the first of three surgical operations (the other two were at ages 14 and 15. I barely managed to recuperate enough to get out of the wheelchair after the last surgery). I have been using crutches to get around ever since.

Why had this happened to me, I wondered. The religion I was raised in told me, "Everyone has their cross to bear in life, I guess this is yours." This reply caused me to became angry and bitter toward God. I quit going to church and began looking for answers elsewhere. I experimented with witchcraft and the occult. I started drinking when I was a young teenager, looking for any kind of enjoyment out of life. When I graduated high school and got my first job, this escalated to heavy and continual use of alcohol and marijuana, a year long period of speed addiction, occasional use of acid and other miscellaneous drugs, and finally to near daily use of cocaine. But there always seemed to be a feeling of `not quite enough'.

In 1984, a coworker named Stan began to talk to me about Jesus. I was not very receptive, because for years I had been blaming God for my disability, and cursing Him for it. But Stan didn't give up, and one day told me that "The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy" and that Jesus loved me and came to give me "life, and that more abundantly". I had never looked at it that way before, and I began asking Stan more questions. Being rather young in the Lord himself, Stan would go and ask, and come back with the answer. My hatred of God was lifted, I eventually went to church (for the first time in 12 years), and at the age of 26, gave my heart to the Lord on January 15, 1985.

Six weeks later an already scheduled vacation with some old partying friends was on the agenda. Confident that I had a handle on things, I went on the trip to Denver, only to be quickly pushed off track by the enemy. The final night of the trip, I and another friend took magic mushrooms, a strong hallucenogenic. The drug had no affect on me, though my friend was hallucinating and laughing wildly. I ended up taking three times the amount my friend had, but never 'got off' at all. "This is not for you anymore," the Lord told me.

When I returned home and told of my experiences, my Sunday school teacher began urging me to seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit. On March 20, 1985, I received this baptism, and the Holy Spirit empowered me to live the Christian life. The desire for alcohol and drugs was immediately lifted, and I have never looked back since.

Since then the Lord has done many wonderful things in my life. It has given me much joy and confidence in Jesus to look back over these years and see how God has accomplished His sovereign will for my life. He has used this to build my trust in Him, and to help me look past the fluctuations of every-day life.

I want to invite you to accept Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, because He loves you and wants to help you with any problems you might have in your life, just like He helped me with mine. It's a decision you will never regret! To read more about Him, click here!



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