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From Prodigal to Pastor

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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May 20, 2022 6:00 am

From Prodigal to Pastor

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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May 20, 2022 6:00 am

Raul Ries grew up with an alcoholic father who physically abused him and his mother. Raul himself became a very angry and violent young man. After his wife had threatened to leave him, he intended to kill her. Raul was bent on a murderous rampage when he had a dramatic, life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. In this broadcast, Pastor Raul share his fascinating story about the amazing grace of God and its power to transform even the most hardened hearts.

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Three shells a complete change of this I got for my niece Mike Pearson around my gun and I got my car when looking for my wife because I wanted to tell her what happened were just a few minutes away from that story and how role, Reese went from a terrible desperate place to becoming a believer in Jesus Christ. This is Focus on the Family with your host focus president Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller. This is an amazing testimony and it illustrates how much God cares about every single one of us. Let's get right to the message John all right, here's role recent as you can probably tell, this is not going to be appropriate for younger listeners role is speaking at Calvary Chapel Golden Springs in Southern California on today's episode of Focus on the Family. My father had a very bad that have he had a problem with drinking big time drinking soda drinking what is about nine years old and just really time of the chaotic because what happened in our home.

Our home was not a normal home or homeless home where in my room as far as I can remember back when I was a little kid my father would come home and would be yelling and cursing and slapping my mother and physically abusing my grandmother and my mother to think of which was his mother and I remember us will look at screaming and yelling because were so frightened by this whole thing at the same time. I remember my dad taking me at the age of five years old, because I was his eldest son take me to the nightclubs in the bars. I remember my father just me was a brawler you used to like to fight a beautiful job with the Bank of Mexico in the same time.

The problem with drinking violence and I remember sitting outside while he would go inside and drink 4345 hours sitting outside the little newsstand waiting for him to come out as he would leave me there with us with these people the way for them to come out and when he would come out. He would be so drunk that he still would've these European scores and he got on and we and by the grace of God we never got me. We dropped it a couple times and I we got home every time of the grace of God through this whole experience. As I was growing up. It was just a time where I remember my dad. You know with me also. By the time I was about eight and I mean physically, just taking in and hitting me and just beating me. You know, because I was so rebellious against everything that was going on. I remember at the age of eight or nine years old thinking you know one of these is I want to kill my dad that was that was my life. I want my my goal was to kill and execute my father. That was my whole goal of my life in 1957 We Dr. to the major earthquake in Mexico City which was a real big earthquake. My grandmother, my mom's mother and sister and my grandfather were living in LA and so they gave my mother an invitation to come up and leave my father so one night when my father came home totally passed out drunk and he became drinking the dust on the bed. That night my mother woke us up early tomorrow but for the morning until to get dressed, got dressed and went to the international Airport in Mexico and in 1957 that the single-engine plays you want to give notice to get from Mexico City to validate the three and half hours but I remember the going to the airport and get on his plane and leaving Mexico City at the age of 10 years old and coming to America and being in America and I remember how happy I was because men now were rid of my dad.

No more drinking no more cursing no more violence now were going to be so joy is being here in America and I remember in 1959 on my father begin to write in 52 my mother that he wanted to change his life and that he wanted to come to America and live with us because he missed her so much and I remember being a little kid 10 years old, hating my mother because my mother said okay to my father and I want my dad to come and live with us but she went ahead and got his because she was an American citizen and so she actually worked out his papers and and then got all set up to go about nine months and finally my dad came up to them and to the states were living in LA and I never forget when he got there, I mean I have any feelings for him. I was so bitter I him that each of 10 and again he began to drink and begin again to abuse my mom and I remember at the age of 15, having a lot confrontations with my father and so I began to become violent.

I begin to you not take my frustrations and the anger that I had in me when we would go to parties when we got in the streets, and I would start get out beating up people are hurting people and it just became a consuming fire in my hard work.

I mean, you know, by the grace I am mean just that outing yet kill you on streets bed. I mean there were times that we left people laying there and we thought they were dead and this went on for for the four years of high school I play sports I was in an athlete in play baseball and doing very well in baseball and my my grades were not that good because I didn't I didn't really study. I partied a lot, you know, and so by the time I was a senior. I already had been in and out of jail, but never once brought by the grace of God, as we knew the cops and the cops used to let us go and so what happened is that on my senior year when I was down in West Covina I got enough in a brawl with this guy that the was doing something you know with one of my girlfriends and I went in, got all my friends and we came to the party we we rip the party that we we rip people in the sky almost died so they came to the high school the next day and the police came and picked us up and they took us in and they booked us and we had to go to court.

The whole thing and not get time I was 18 already were seniors and were just about to graduate and I got it put in a position work either.

I was going to go to prison where I would have the opportunity, the judge gave me to go into the military. While that time I seen a white beard I was going. That's about as the Vietnam no license to kill.

I can do whatever I want to do and I remember when we got to Danang and we are the D one big actually separate. There was 5000 troops on on the on the US. Kathy and the sinister own units and I went to Alpha Company, 17 in they put me with the seventh Marine division of first Marine sent they put me on this on the spittoon which was a a platoon. Then when actually on special missions. There were seven of us were called the bounty hunters and we would go down to the river debts and we would set up camp and now we would watch and we would click to see how many BC were coming down to the trails and then we would report back and it became sort of a server like an eye. I can say game. It became part of a a a part of my life where as I begin to see some of my friends get killed. The hatred that came for the Asian person and finally after 11 months of being in Vietnam and doing all the things a funny they finally caught up with us in the government to call the season they sent us. First of all to a psychiatrist to make sure that they would check us out to see what was wrong with us and I when I came to the psychiatrist. He looked at me so you know what seems to be a promise of my alighting for some. I promise you, you know I don't like you and I said all I wanted to so want to get out of this place and he says one thing that's possible assess if you don't make it possible for someone to kill you right now and so he got a piece of paper to write stuff that you know and so you were pretty fast and then he gave me this piece of paper.

Is that what you really In a given leader. Given the FISA paper so I went back I know what he was written. But they going to back up on my seatbacks give my locker box. Everything that I was leaving town you know. So I got everything packed up and they send me back to the name and when I got to the neck to the airport to actually borrow want a C-130 of day they came out.

The MP send the output shackles my feet and my hands and I thought I was going home but I guess I was not. They put me in this plane and they tied me up in flew me to Japan and from Japan to the Philippines over the Philippines to Guam and from Guam. They flew me to Travis Air Force Base of Northern California. We landed and there was a paddy wagon waiting for me and they put me when I shackles inside and they put a straitjacket on and they took me to the local Naval Hospital, which I spent six months of my life on the psychological care, but most under drugs in Vienna and in and a jacket because I was so violent, is I say that, taken possession of my life at that particular time they were starting the 60s hose call center none. There were like therapy sessions work.

You come in a group session you talk and you telling your problems every time he would come to my problems. I would become so violent and starving up and everybody taking away and put me away in the night in the this could talk and so after six months. Dr. Wilson decided that I was not fit not only for the Marine Corps, but I wasn't fit to go back to Vietnam for a second tour, but I was only fit to be discharged with a dishonorable discharge. So I said well whatever happens happens is that you nicely get out here and they send me out to Camp Pendleton to the fifth Marine division and they would recommend others, I will discharge my life and I remember when I was at camp and often they had me actually locked up in dust. When I am my wife was in high school with me and we had actually fallen in love through letters in Vietnam and they allowed me to have a couple of times. Seal off where I can go on your see my my family and so the time when Michigan got together and she got pregnant and so they give me time to get married in was still in the Marines and by this or have them come back yet. I was really gives the whole thing and finally it came back in September 15, 1967 other forget that the when they call me in the say hey your district is back and it's an honorable discharge by convincing the government. So while and I got out and I went out when I saw my wife and told her that I was out of the Marine Corps got a job in LA working for the Union Bank and you start do my thing in the morning.

I got out immediately. I started going back not only to my old friends, but I started going back to my old life, but this time I was a little bit older, even though was only 21 years old at that time.

It's it's amazing how the ward had matured me tremendously and nine, I wasn't afraid to kill him.

I was afraid to do anything and so when we would go to parties or whatever we would do. It was just chaotic in the things that we would do and every time I mean that. I mean, I remember you know the opportunities that God gave me and my wife would never preach to me she would share the gospel with me by by Sharon in her love with me but never giving me tracks or you know putting tricks in my sandwiches and I buy down and now Jesus was nothing like that or 40 secrets of memory like that but just her life living in a one thing that I never wanted.

I never want to be like my dad where I would become of physical abuse while I did the phrasing that I did as they started you know pushing around and kicking her punching her in presales, choking, or and by the grace of God. The Angels protected her and went on for about 4 1/2 years until finally she finally decided she's gonna leave me, and when she was going to leave me. I decided nobody would ever have her and I would I would chase for my kids and the best way to do that is to execute her my kids and kill myself as the police would come as a shooter with police. That would be in the end of everything and nobody wins. And so when I got home, she already had gone to church as a matter fact it was Easter Sunday, April 15, 1972 and I already had made up my mind I was in the killer so I came home and I saw her bags are packed inside and I walked into the house and went to the Plaza know my gun and Lord of my gun with 18 rounds and I started walking on the house.

I started straw my whole house and are just knocking on everything and I went next to the TCU to the TV and I was standing there and I me know so and so mad inside that I took to the butt of the rifle I hit the TV on a hit and it came on and on.

The TV came on theirs. As this was his guide boy had a guy talking about Jesus. This is Chuck Smith and it was with Catherine Kuhlman you I will disclose all hippies and all of this in the minute after the minute I want to shooting enough with my gun I could pull the trigger and it seemed like when he talked it, we was talking to the TV. He was talking to me in that it is like a boat was being pulled back and the arrows were let go and they were standing in the heart, and I can send me one shot have what we try to say no and all of a sudden I found myself that I begin to put my you're more to it and then I find myself that as I was listening to find myself on my knees and for the first time in my life.

I begin to cry like a baby and I was not to cool to cry when your heart. Nice begin to tell God.if you're really real. You're a real God and you are God.

They can save people as you save my wife.

I want you to come into my life. You know me away. I didn't see lightning. I didn't see any I have any feeling or anything emotional.

I just by faith prayed a prayer and I felt a complete change in my life as I got up for my niece liked of Mike Pearson.

I've got all the rounds really my gun and I got my car and I went looking for my wife because I wanted to tell her what happened to I couldn't find her.

I got to the church was US and they were actually… They're having the altar call, so I just went up to the altar call and once a councilman the whole thing. I went home. When I got home I knocked on the door. The light was on a ready my wife was at home and I heard her weeping and crying inside and knocked on the door. I said sure and open the door, it's me, and she was just crying the whole thing is what she did. She put the latch of the Lord. She opened the door and she said what you want. I said, I'm born again I accepted Christ. She shut the door my face you know she didn't really believe it. And so I talked again I and I said gotcha. Honestly, I accept the Lord on the arm of the change my whole life and she finally opened the door and it took probably about a year and 1/2 to 2 years for her to watch my life change really watch my liking but what away is it immediately. I mean I got see man I got saved I when the nixie.Christian books are about your Bible, not knowing about Bible so I was looking to buy was there were little Bibles big Bibles you know huge Bibles and so I am of the biggest bile I could because I wanted to be no Christian. So I got his middle family Bible and at that time you don't leave well. I am starving. These are fishes that you have the agreed writing Jesus Christ, God's and Savior in Greek and they have little ones and Miller met medium-size look and they have these big sharks eat all there like that.

I don't think is what I can with another thing I put on. I didn't even care. Why is my right and that I was a Christian I can imagine big Bibles big fish walking around in the SOS as we were doing this whole thing II got home and I just everyone I begin to read the Bible and I started going to Chuck Smith's church and I got down that I begin to get rooted and grounded by the teams and by the books and read and then the Lord call me little weird about a week later, the Lord call me and I mean I hear his voice, but I had like I was sitting there reading my Bible and bring in a hammock of mission and renovation. My life finally was. But I saw myself awake and half-asleep and I saw my old high school and I saw my principal and my Vice Principal is all these hundreds of kids in the Lord told me I wanted to go back to your high school I said okay so I waited and I prayed and then I went to bombard high school 1972. I remember I walked on the campus and Dr. Hollenbeck and and and and barn whole where was the assistant principal and he was my baseball coach report and I remember walking up and I had the fish.

The tuna Bible. I walked in and the next thing I know is the police are excluding me off the campus because they think I'm nuts that I want me on campus and so I went home totally bummed out thinking all men what's gonna happen now and so I went home and got spoke to me again go back to bombard high school Lord the just kicked Millie call the police. The police so if I come back in the gonna put me in jail go back to bombard high school Kevin to go back.

I went back the following week and Mr. Barnhart. Mr. Hollenbeck to me in their office and they talk to me and they gave me permission to be on campus.

Let's take this up to be on campus into going to the classrooms and to be outside of the class was on the mall area and I could talk to people about Jesus Christ because he knew me from before so I started at lunchtime. I would sit out on the grass area and all these kids would look at me with my fish in my Bible and they hated me and all of a sudden then incoming missiles cake milk and there were bombarding me with stuff man was so mad I need to stuff on only one be here in the Lord told me to be there so a couple of weeks went by a couple of months went by I stood there faithfully every day and then all of a sudden the Lord begin to open the doors is give begin to come and talk to me and I talked to them and then one day on the mall area bombard high school. The Lord told me to lunch.

The new knowledge since our high schools there was in the wrong thing and we have no PA and I met a screamer and he says get up on this big bench and I want you to talk to him about me, so I got up there and start hey forgot so loved the world, men that he gave his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, that whosoever would give you an armistice whole thing and as I was talking making a full of myself.

I thought the Holy Spirit was zapping people. The Holy Spirit thought school so heavily that all of a sudden as I looked out there were about 3 to 5 to 600 kids in the grass listening what blew me away is I don't expect got to my life.

This was I and as I begin to just share with them. God's love. I said anybody here 16 of Jesus Christ 500 kids got up and came underneath and give the life of Jesus Christ in them in the school is told when then Glassell high school about as was I. School open up charter Oak high school open up Glendora high school open up and I was doing seven high schools a week just going on the streets so my ministry started.

I never thought I never expected that God would do such a tremendous work that he has done over the last 25 years I never dreamed the guy would do such a thing, and I won't tell you this tonight because I know there are some of you here that God wants to use her life and I've been you know I mean just an incredible places that I never thought that God would take me and how my book and my movie is not only got into so many languages I mean is got all over the world and how God has used that testimony and yet is because of Jesus Christ. But one thing that I have learned in 25 years and it's important that we become obedient to the call of God, because 25 years of my life has passed me on so fast so fast that I figure maybe I got 10, 15 years left of the Lord Terry's or maybe more dependent. Whatever he says that if I don't give my life completely to him now, and we don't go for completely and was can happen to the world. What's gonna happen to her lovers and her friends if were not sold out to Jesus Christ what's gonna happen to go to hell. That's what's one for young people and mothers and fathers that you're totally committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I don't care what you've done.

God forgives us we've all blown it. But God is a God of second and third and fourth and fifth and hundred thousand chances if were sincere in our commitment to him. Don't waste anymore of your days for your years in the Lord get rooted get grounded get a hunger get a vision in your life and ask… What do you want me to do for you and I guarantee you that he will tell you if you're willing to do that he will do to do that in a life because he loves you he loves you so much that he's not willing that any should perish but all should come to repentance. And I just pray for each one of you that you would give your life completely him don't play games and I think that God wants to do some tremendously. I got considerably Bible we, his people will humble ourselves and in every humble ourselves before God, we confess our sins before God and he will send his Holy Spirit needs your pastor of Calvary Chapel in Pres. somebody loves you ministry while what amazing testimony of how the Lord can change a person. Pastor Reese went from wanting to kill his wife and kids being in evangelist and the pastor of a large thriving church.

That's evidence.

God is so good and I just keep thinking about how Pastor Reese described that Mr. morning going through his own house, smashing things with a loaded rifle until he get the TV and it came on. What are the odds of that. And right there on the television set was Pastor Chuck Smith, the founder of the Calvary Chapel talking about the love of God and his words not roll to his knees and the amazing transformation began right there on his living room floor and boy if you're on the fence about Christianity. I hope you really heard what Pastor Reese was saying there and that you give your life completely to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He has the answers that you are seeking and he is waiting for you to turn to him. If you'd like to learn more about the Christian faith and what it means to be a Christian. We recommend our free PE booklet called coming home.

It will give you all the information you need and there's even a prayer included.

If you'd like to asked Jesus into your heart, you'll find a link for the coming home booklet in the show notes and if you're already a Christian. Let me remind you that Focus on the Family is here to spread the good news of the gospel and encourage you in your marriage and your parenting journey. Of course, there are costs involved in getting these radio programs on the air every day, so please support this broadcast.

If you can.

Pastor Reese's testimony is living proof that Christian media can make a big difference in a person's life. Their eternal life. In fact, over the last year over hundred and 70,000 people said they made a decision for Christ because of Focus on the Family. Join us as we help those Families Dr. in Christ. And when you give a donation of any amount will send you the CD of this testimony from Pastor Rall Reese with extra content, and if can afford to make a donation right now please just let us know and we'll get it in your hands will trust others will cover the cost of that get in touch with us today.

You can call us or stop by our website or numbers 800 the letter a in the word family 800-232-6459 or donate to the work of Focus on the Family and request your CD of the links are in the episode notes. Let me mention the Pastor Reese has asked us for prayer. Join us in praying for Amy's struggling and has been for several years with a medical issue that affects his speech to pray for him. His church and his family.

Please have a great weekend with your family and your church family as well and be sure to join us on Monday when Carol Kirkendall offers some hope and encouragement along with personal stories for launching your teens into adulthood. I just want to encourage mothers and fathers who are going through this, that the best is yet to come. That, but I didn't go to your children and helping them become confident adults is the bridge to the very best season of parenting that is to be friends with your adult children on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team on John Fuller thanking you for joining us today for this Focus on the Family podcast take a moment eviscerating if you would sure about this episode with a friend and plan to be with us next time.

As we once again help you and Your Family Dr. in Christ messing up at school can be embarrassing but average boys use to it.

He tries failed and tries again, thanks to help from his friends, Billy, Kenny and Sarah join average boy in his very first fun filled novel called average voice above average year. He deals with bullies homework and more while following God and showing God's love to others. Check out this book, perfect for the 12-year-old in your that average

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