Our guest today, Marty A., captured my attention when he graciously sent me his book "Once Life Matters: A New Beginning." But it was not just another drunkalog or war story. It describes Marty's unusual musical career, contact with celebrities, ups and downs, and bouts with drugs and alcohol. But its principal appeal is its picture of a cured addict who is an example for thousands of recovered Christians who have emerged from their drug-filled holes, met inspired recovery leaders, focused on prisoners' freedom, and reported dramatic conversions to God through Jesus Christ. Marty's accounts reminded me that Ken and I had the pleasure of befriending Bishop Frank Costantino, a man who emerged from life as a gangster, followed by time in prison, to head up a huge prison relief program. And Frank endorsed and funded several of our books. Marty reminded me of our friend Mickey Evans of Dunklin Memorial Church in Okeechobee. We spent lots of time with Mickey, spoke at meetings with him, and marveled at his success in the swamps bringing men out of prison, into the Bible, and back to families and productive work.
We hope Marty will tell us of his family, bumpy career, powerful conversion, and time spent with his sister and a minister friend who led him to be born again. He shows how a New York pastor got him grounded in the Word of God; and how he began attending church and speaking at youth meetings, and participating in meetings sponsored by Full Gospel Business Men. He met a supportive police officer before he was sentenced to prison. He sought Frank Costantino's prison ministry; and, in prison, worked with Jews for Jesus and other Christians who wanted better lives. That work brought him to well-known prison ministries like those of Murph the Surf, "Pappy" Eastham, Chuck Colson, and Mickey Evans. Now, take it away Marty.