MP3 Michael Sewell - Heart in a Box
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11 MP3 Songs in this album (44:51) !
Related styles: SPIRITUAL: Contemporary Christian, EASY LISTENING: Musicals/Broadway
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By the time I was twenty-two, I was a bitter and disillusioned young man. I was angry at the hypocrisy and hatred I had found in the church and two different Christian colleges. I thought of the church as a place where legalists, thieves, liars, fornicators, mind-controllers, and self-serving hypocrites abounded. I was more impressed with the artists I knew and the philosophers I read. I felt that people in Eastern religions were more in tune with the truth.
The days of looking to Jesus were gone; now I looked only at people. The beautiful conversion I had had in my early teens seemed more like an inferior religious experience that I had to move on from. I felt I had to tap an unrealized element of greatness that, as a conventional Christian, I could never attain to. I felt my artistic passions had more depth, substance, and potential than the dreary "church world" around me. So I said, "I am no longer a Christian, but a seeker of truth."
Almost immediately, my emancipation from Christianity seemed to bring new opportunities; including a possible record deal with M.C.A.. Everything seemed to be on the upswing and I was free to indulge in all the things my old Christian values had forbidden. However, just as quickly everything seemed to fall apart and within months, I found myself broken-hearted, disappointed, and broke without any big recording contract. Instead of turning to the Lord, I turned to friends who told me I had simply created my own reality and had the power to create a better situation.
This was my first real step into the New Age Religion. I began to read books on the subject and began to explore and practice creating my own reality as it were. Although I was now struggling with depression, I thought I was starting to see progress.
My music career offered steady club work in Ohio, and yet, it seemed to be heading no where. So I moved to New York City and attended the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute. It wasn't long before I was auditioning for movies, plays, and television shows; also starting to get parts that I had come to want so much.
All the while, my spiritual search progressed taking me deeper and deeper into mystic practices which now included yoga, drugs, astrology, the I-ching, self-hypnosis, tarot cards, macro-biotics, out-of-body experiences, and light therapy.
Although my career was progressing with another possible record contract and regular small parts of a soap opera, my depression grew worse. I began to feel trapped by drugs and constant demonic influence brought on by my occult involvement.
Success, sex, drugs, occultic spiritual activity all seemed to only make my growing emptiness more painful. Therapy offered no hope and friends came hopelessly short of understanding. There seemed to be no escape, so I began to collect prescription drugs from a friend.
During this time, I encountered a woman who was not very sophisticated who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to me. I was, of course, ready for her and as I was about to rip her ridiculous faith to shreds, my mind became filled with two scriptures. The first, "I will use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise" and the next, "being wise in their own eyes, they became fools". I had to admit that this common woman was much better off than I with all my deep and brooding thoughts.
I didn't act immediately on the woman's advice, but continued as I was. Within a month, I became completely despondent; sometimes not leaving my apartment for days at a time. It was at this point that I decided to take all those prescription drugs that I had gathered over the months and to take my chances with the mystery of death. But I called out to the Lord and said, "Jesus, if you're the true God, come and help me and I'll do things your way. If not, I'll take my chances". Immediately the Lord gave me hope! I repented and found complete forgiveness and Jesus began to put my life back together and heal a very broken man.
Over the past years since then, I have been astounded by the completeness of His healing! He's brought hope where there wasn't any.
As I was able to comfort others with the comfort He gave me and share the Gospel , I began to see others' lives change. As the Lord strengthened me, I became aware of His calling to spend my life in ministry.
I could sense a strong leading to move to California and Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in order to prepare. So I loaded my car and drove across country not knowing anyone or exactly what would happen.
The Lord was faithful to provide once I arrived. I learned more about the Bible, God's character, and servant hood. I also met my wife, Jodi. Her life had also been redeemed from a desperate state, as she struggled for years with an eating disorder that almost claimed her life until the Lord delivered her from that bondage.
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