Lost and Found in Alaska
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Testimony of FAITH

1992
A new Harley, 3 grand in my pocket, and lots of weed.............,





























but in the back of my mind I was angry at something……...  

I never let it show unless the weed ran low...... or if I didn't have a girl .......or if I ran out of cash.........

In 1992 I lived in a dumpy trailer, but I had lots of weed, and a new Harley.  
I left Alaska for a six week ride to the Lower 48.  After four weeks of riding I found myself in Payson, AZ.  
As I checked into a hotel, I noticed a rock band setting up across the street.
So I rode my Harley over and asked some people if they wanted to smoke some of my Alaskan weed.   
Well they didn't want to; it turned out that it was a Christian band...........

One of them talked to me a bit, but I can’t remember a thing he said.
He invited me to his church.
I asked him, “What kind of church?”
“Just Christian,” he said.
Well I knew then it was one of those “born again” churches.
I disliked those people who said you had to be “born again,” they all seemed so self-righteous.  
I considered it all a charade.  
I thought about going, but in the morning I said “Not today.”

I remembered going to one of 'those' churches back in 1984.

I was about 21.  I had a girlfriend who got ‘saved’ and dragged me to it.  
Everyone was clapping and singing to Jesus.  In my eyes these people were all going overboard.  
They were not humble or acting holy enough and
I felt like they all thought they were better than me.  
I wondered what kind of trick the pastor had used to seduce all these people into his cult.  
I couldn’t wait to get out of there.  

I left Payson and rode the highway north towards the Grand Canyon.  
I felt as if I had turned my back on God, so I said a couple of memorized prayers.  They didn't work.  
I didn't feel any better and I felt very lonely and divided within myself.  
I was only comfortable with myself when I had something to fill the void of my empty heart.  
It was getting harder to live comfortably with who I was.

As I was riding I got bitter, angry, and depressed.  
I got a little weepy about myself.  Part of me knew I was living against God
and part of me said “Who cares, I go to church once in a while, and I’m not so bad.”
I yelled out loud, “@#$% it, I don't   @#$%-ing CARE!”  

“I am going to live for myself,” I said.
The truth was that I had drifted as far from God as I could and I did not care.
Besides, I'm not a bad guy--- what does God expect?

I wouldn't take any crap from any Jesus freak telling me about some ‘personal relationship’ with God.
I felt like I already had a personal relationship with God,
but the truth was my religion was what I wanted it to be.  
I took what I liked and disregarded what I didn't like.
In effect, I was making my own god, my own personal idol.  
I’m not hurting anyone.  I'm better than most people anyways.  
If God has a problem with that, then I will just have to do a little extra time in ‘purgatory’ to pay for my sins.  
Made sense to me, that is what I was taught.  How else could I justify myself?

I sat on the edge of the Grand Canyon that afternoon and fantasized about
driving my motorcycle off the edge and dying just for shock value, but knew I didn't have the guts.

I left my bike at my sister’s place in Oregon and hopped a jet back to Alaska where I had a good job as a
heavy equipment operator.  I worked, drank, smoked, and slept.  At work there was a man named Darryl
who gave me a cassette tape of some Christian rock bands “Applehead and Rose”.  
I thought to myself, "I bet they suck!"

I can hardly remember anything about that winter.  I drifted into a comfort zone.  
It was cold and I was depressed, that I do remember, but that was life.
On weekends I would go to the bar, but never felt like I fit in.
The only thing I had to look forward to was spring and getting back on my Harley.

When spring came I flew down to Oregon where I left my bike.  I sat in my sister’s garage working on it while
listening to Black Sabbath.   My little niece Kati came out to see me.   “WHAT are you listening to?”
I told her, “Black Sabbath,” and she said “Well, it sounds like someone’s DYING!”  
She was right, it did sound like someone dying.  I felt stupid.  What kind of example am I to this little kid?
Not a good one I thought.

After a few days I left Oregon.  Just for something different I put in the Christian rock tape that Darryl had
given me and listened to it while I rode.  I was surprised at how good these "Jesus Rockers" were.
I rode down south through California, a ways east and then north all the way to Alaska.
I was lonely and bored the whole way.

I spent the summer chasing a good time, and started to hang out with some local bikers, which included
members of the local Hell’s Angels.  I would hang out at their bar, and go for rides with them once in a while,
staying in the background.  One night I saw them beat the crap out of someone for no good reason.  
I felt lucky to get out of the nightclub myself without getting involved and decided that night that I was a lone
biker.  I did not need their gang, and good thing, because some would turn up dead and others would go
missing.  Years later I would see some of the same guys were involved in the 2002 Laughlin Nevada biker
riot where three people were murdered.  Who killed who I don't know, I am just glad I was not with them.

At work my co-worker Darryl asked me one day if I had been born again and I said, “I'm a Catholic”.   
He asked if I had a relationship with Jesus, and the conversation ended there.  “What a jerk!” I thought.  
I had never seriously committed to Jesus and I did not want to turn into an annoying jerk who talked about
Jesus all the time.

My boss’ name was Lyle and he was another Christian.  In the winter of '93-'94 he had a “good idea” that I
was smoking marijuana while operating heavy equipment.  He said that if he caught me, I would be fired.  
A few days later he caught me red handed.  So I quickly came up with a sob story for him, hoping to play on
his Christian weakness for actually caring about people.  I told him that I couldn't stop smoking pot, knowing
that would tug on his heartstrings.  Instead of firing me he said "I know who can help you".   
I knew he meant Jesus, so I acted interested so maybe I could keep my job and it worked,
but I felt a little sleazy for using his love for God to keep my job.

Soon after that day I was flipping through the channels on TV.  I heard a preacher say something about the
Holy Spirit, and he talked like it was something so real to him, I quickly turned him off.  I became angry and
cursed God, because my life sucked.  I had never experienced any ‘Holy Spirit’.  I fantasized about killing
myself.

I went to sleep, I dreamt that I was dead, buried in a cold, dark, underground cell, lying on a bed of cold
stone.  I couldn’t move or talk.  The devil came toward me.   I thought to myself, “I had better wake up now to
escape this nightmare.”  I tried to stay still so he wouldn’t notice me, but he did.  He came to where I was
laying and stood over me. I couldn’t move or scream.  He slid his arms under me. I cannot describe the
terror of him touching me!  I thought for sure I would now wake up because this was so scary- I knew I was
having a dream but I COULD NOT WAKE UP!  He pulled me close to hug me and to take me to hell……. I
was full of so much regret for my life. Then I woke up.

I have never been so scared!  Suicide did not seem like such a good idea anymore, but I couldn't
stop thinking about killing myself.  I had what I thought I wanted in life, but I was miserable.  

The next day at work Darryl saw me and said, “You don't look so good, what's going on?”   
I explained my nightmares to him and how they would not go away.  He said, “Can I pray for you?”  
At that point I did not care, so I said “Go ahead,” thinking he would go home and pray for me before he went
to bed like a good little Christian boy, but without hesitating he put his hands on my shoulders and began to
pray to God right then and there at work.  I thought, “This guy is a freak and embarrassing me,” but as he
prayed for me, my heart softened and a few tears flowed down my face and landed on his shoes.

He only prayed for a minute and I was glad when he was done so I could get away from him.  I quickly put it
behind me.  It never crossed my mind again that day.  I went home and drank myself to sleep as usual,
choosing not to remember Darryl praying for me earlier that day because I was embarrassed by the whole
thing.   

I woke up at 3:15 AM to go to work (I started daily at 4 AM) and realized I did not have any nightmares-
I was thrilled!   I rolled a joint and went to work, still not remembering that Darryl had prayed that God would
protect me in my sleep.  Then I saw Darryl at 7:30 AM and I said to myself, "Oh, oh, here comes that Jesus
freak that prayed for me yesterday".   He greeted me and asked, "How are you doing?"
I replied, "I’m pretty good".  Then he said, "I woke up at 3 AM this morning and felt that God wanted me to
pray for you some more.” Needless to say, I thought Darryl might have a nut loose, but realizing that his
prayers for my nightmares had been answered, I told him "Well, thanks Darryl, I didn't have any bad dreams
last night and slept rather well.”  He said, "That's the power of the Lord knocking on your heart, Chad.”  
I said, "Yea, yea, whatever," and laughed him off.  Part of me wondered if it was his prayer to God,
but most of me thought it was the power of suggestion.

Then I saw Lyle.  He and Darryl didn't even go to the same church.  He had no idea about my nightmares,
nor did he know that Darryl prayed for me the day before or at 3 AM that morning.  He came right up to me
and said, “I have to tell you something: God woke me up at 3 AM this morning to pray for you, so I woke up
my wife, and we both prayed for you, and I was wondering why?  What's going on with you, Chad?”

I was shocked; how could he have known anything?  At that point I told him I didn't know what he was talking
about and abruptly left.  This bothered me so much I went and hid in a loft trying to understand what was
going on.  I knew that my nightmares hit me just before I woke up to go to work.  Would God wake three
people at three in the morning to pray for me? How did Lyle know to pray
for me?  How did Darryl know when to pray for me?  Next my thoughts turned to God...  
I turned my face upward and I cried out in my heart, “God, why are you doing this to me?
Why do you care? I am a bad man and I told you I didn't want to change!  
Why can’t I just live my life my way and be happy?”

I waited a few hours to get my head together, then went and saw Darryl in his office.  
I asked him to give me something in the Bible to read.  Whenever I read it before I would just flip to any old
page and read a few paragraphs, not understanding anything.  Then I would put it on the shelf to collect
dust for another couple of years.  
Darryl told me to read the book of Romans and after that to read the book of Acts.

I went home and started to read the book of Romans, doubting that it would have any effect on me.

I read chapter 1, which goes on and on about liars, adulterers, homosexuals, murderers,
untrustworthy, unmerciful, and unforgiving people.   I started to feel better about myself,
“I am not these people and am not as bad as them.  They are the ones that need God, not me!”   

Then I read chapter 2, verse 1, and my heart sunk.

Romans 2:1
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge
the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”

It was as if I got punched in the stomach.  I was not just as bad as those people I judged, I was worse!   

2        “Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.”
3        “So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things,
do you think you will escape God's judgment?”

I knew I needed to escape God’s judgment! But how could I?

4        “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience,
not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?”

Ugh!  Of course I was repentant, but so what!?  Who isn't when things are going badly?

I had always tried to avoid my conscience, but I knew at this point I had the chance to change my life.  
I went to bed not knowing if I had the guts.  God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

The next few days there was no escape from the fact that I knew I had to make a choice.
I was reeling inside knowing I had to put a cap on this experience.  So I came up with another “plan.”
I figured I would go to Darryl’s house on the night of his “Bible study group” and get ‘born again’.  
It would get him off my back and please my boss at the same time.  My plan was to pray for Jesus to come
into my heart, and then, after nothing happened, I would go home to drink and smoke and forget about the
whole thing.  I figured that something spiritual only happens to people who are brainwashed after going to a
bunch of ‘charismatic’ church services.


January 6th, 1994:
That night I showed up at Darryl’s home for Bible study, but I came early so I could get it over with and leave
before any other ‘wackos’ started to show up.  Darryl was still eating his dinner.  As I sat there my mind
started to spin.  

A voice in my head said, “This sucks, get the hell out of here!  You don't need this crap! LEAVE! Jump out
the window!  Get the hell out of here!  This sucks! JUMP OUT THE WINDOW!”   I was mad at myself for even
allowing myself to be there!  
I had visions of jumping out his picture window and blood everywhere.

“Darryl, we got to do this right now,” I said.
Looking back on that moment I did not even know what I meant or why I even said that!
Darryl was still eating dinner but he stopped and came over to where I was sitting and put his hand on my
shoulder and told me to pray with him.  Suddenly a wave of remorse came over me. I was full of regret and
for the first time in my life I was truly repentant for my sins.  He praised God and thanked Jesus for the blood
He shed on the cross and told me to pray what he prayed, “Father, I am a sinner, but I believe that Jesus
Christ died for me and shed his precious blood on the cross for my sins"

Right then the voices in my head went silent and I had dropped off of the sofa on to my knees, weeping. At
that moment my eyes were closed but I saw Christ on the cross, His arms were stretched out by the nails in
His hands.  He was looking down at me and I knew that He loved me and forgave me.
I had never felt so accepted and loved.  Now I truly knew what it meant to be ‘born again’.
Jesus had become so real and personal to me.  From the outside Christianity looked like a bunch of
deceived people following a bunch of burdensome rules, but the truth is-on the inside- Christ lifted off the
burdens that I was carrying.

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your
souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Before that day I was heavy with a life full of regret, but at the point that I dropped to my knees and received
Him into my life, I became free from the burden of sin.

Song of Songs 2:14
"O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your
voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely."

Can you believe that God would feel that way about you?    

Jesus came to seek and save that which is lost, He met people one on one, changing lives.  He told His
followers to do the same, and that is why I wrote this, to let you know that He died to save you, if you will
repent.

It takes brokeness for us to admit that we are His enemy.  We invent a god to suit ourselves.  We use His
name as a cuss word to express disgust.  We don’t trust Him and we spend our days in anxiety, working to
attain things that don’t last.  We hate those whom God sends to us.  Our thoughts are full of lusts and
desires.  We lie and steal and consider it no big deal.  We long for things that others have, never giving
God the proper thanks for what He has already given us.

Do these things apply to you?  Have you ever told a lie, or used the Lord’s name in vain?  Have you ever
approved of someone else’s sins?  Will you be innocent or guilty?  I am telling you this for a reason,
because when we see that our sin is exceedingly wrong it will drive you to the Cross.  The Cross of Jesus
Christ is the only place where you can be justified.  Suddenly the sacrifice of the Lamb of God for your sins
becomes very personal.  If you don’t think that you need forgiveness you are horribly wrong.  Examine
yourself.  God made a way where there was no way.  Only He can raise the dead, and He has much to say
about that.   So don’t just take my opinion or even believe me, but believe His Word:

Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment

You will die and you will be judged

Romans 3:23
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Nobody can say they are perfect

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The payment for sin is death, but eternal life is a gift.  You can’t buy your way into heaven.

John 3:3
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see
the kingdom of God."

Why do you think Jesus came to die?  He came to die to fulfill the demands of the law for your sins; He died
for justice sake.

John 14:6
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The thing that separates Christianity from all other religions is grace versus works.  All other religions and
‘Christian’ cults say you have to work your way to heaven by being good.  If you could do that then Jesus
died in vain.  The Bible says in
Ephesians 2:8 that “For by grace you are saved, and not by works, lest any
man should boast.”
 Do you think you will be able to stand before Him on your personal judgment day and
boast about all the great things you did?  What about the thief on the cross next to Jesus, he had nothing to
boast about, yet he repented and turned to Jesus, who said, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise”.

Salvation is a gift.

Romans 10:9-11
if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the
dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."

Have you ever seen a statue or a painting of Jesus on the cross?  Did you know He was totally naked?  The
death of the cross was designed by the Romans to be totally humiliating.  If you look at scripture closely you
will see He did not have a loin cloth on like the paintings or the sculptures show.  He was perfect, without sin,
but He was put to total shame because of you.

Hebrews 12:2
…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the JOY that was set before Him endured
the cross, despising the shame…

If you are His, you are the JOY set before Him; He endured the cross and took your shame because that
was His perfect plan to take your punishment.  He is the Ultimate Hero, the innocent One sacrificing His life
for the guilty.  Can you imagine if every deed and thought that you ever had were put on the big screen for
all creation to see?  Can you imagine being naked and put to shame for neglecting to allow God into your
life?  That is what He wants to save you from.  He is a Holy God and no sin will be allowed to stand in front of
Him.  His blood is the only way for Him to declare you clean.

Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as
white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.

You see, God has provided a Passover Lamb for you to protect you, but you must believe and have the
blood of the Lamb on the door posts of your heart (Exodus Chapter 12).

Jesus told the woman at the well (John 4) that He is searching those who will worship Him in spirit and truth.  
Do you know what the word worship literally means?  It means, “to kiss.”  Tell me something, can you kiss
someone if there is a closed door between them and you?  What are the rooms of your heart you don’t want
Him in?  His light will shine on your inner most being, and you will be broken.

Jeremiah 31:3
......"Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.”

Pray before it is too late!  Don’t be found trusting in your own righteousness, which is pride, but be found in
love with Him, leaning fully on the work of the cross.

Oh dear God! Forgive me!  My sins are more than I can bear, I drop to my knees before You now because
only You know me and only You can forgive me.  Thank you for the blood You shed on the cross for me and
giving Your life for mine.  I now give my life to You and trust you fully for my salvation.

God sees in you the little child He died for... He publicly died for you, now live your life publicly for Him.
The time is short, when judgment comes it will be too late, this world and your days in it are numbered.  
Spend every day as if it were your last.  Put your hand in His and don’t let go.  Turn from the sins in your life
and trust Him to guide your steps.

Chad Dietz
800-545-2191
chad@ironbychad.com

Epilogue:
Since that day (Jan 6th, 1994), God has been completing His work in me.  No I am not perfect, but I am
changed.  The person I was- I can honestly say I don’t miss him at all.  In fact I still suffer from some of my
bad descisions I made so long ago.  

I now live in California with my beautiful wife, and have 9 children, 7 of whom are adopted.   
I don't think I am better than anyone else but have much to be thankful for....
only one thing actually matters…….. my sins that separated me from God have been forgiven, and my hope
for you is that you seek God and find Him, on His terms.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have
become new.

Get a Bible and start in Mark, John, Acts, and Romans.  
Find a church that doesn’t sugar coat the gospel.
Feel free to call or email me.


"Oh dear God! Forgive me!  My sins are more than I can bear, I drop to my knees before You now
because only You know me and only You can forgive me.  Thank you for the blood You shed on the
cross for me and giving Your life for mine.  I now give my life to You and trust you fully for my
salvation."
Written about my life leading up to January 6th, 1994.
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