Dan's Testimony
Matthew 25:35 Foundation

WHAT IS A TESTIMONY? It is a personal story of how God in His infinite mercy changed that personís life through the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A PERSONAL TESTIMONY? The purpose is to give glory and praise to God for what He has done in our lives and to encourage others who can relate to all or part of your story that there is HOPE in salvation through Jesus Christ. God is alive and performing miracles daily in the lives of those who choose to freely submit themselves to Him. The bible says that Jesus stands at the door (of our heart) and knocks, He will not force Himself in or upon us, once we choose to open that door He is free to come in and help us and bring comfort, to give us ETERNAL life a free gift, something we cannot ever earn by our good works.

It is my hope and prayer that by sharing my failures and shortcomings, and the miraculous change God has brought in my life, I can be an encouragement to someone and give them the desire to do as I did, and turn to Jesus for salvation. Donít wait as long as I did. This is my story.

Where do I start? I wasted the first 32 years of my life wandering through this world lost. God has amazingly changed my life. He has completely changed everything to replace pain with comfort, sorrow with joy, fear with hope and death with life. Everything that I enjoy in my life today, salvation, health, my family, friends and business are all gifts from the Lord, In 1958 I was born in Tonawanda NY, I had two older brothers. My Dad was a carpenter who was a heavy drinker. His Dad died when he was 10, he didnít complete school but instead went to work in the Pennsylvania coal mines to support his Mom, facts I never learned till I was about 30. Growing up in an alcoholic home, as many of you might know (1 out of ten people are alcoholics, 1 out of 4 are children of alcoholics) not much of importance is discussed or explained in the family. But much is ignored like the alcoholics behavior and insanity that goes with it. There was yelling and fighting constantly, sleep did not come easy. Throughout my school years I did rather poorly and gravitated towards making people laugh and getting into trouble to feel a sense of acceptance with my peers. Acceptance was something that did not happen at home. My dad took zero interest in all three of his sons. We all played sports and my dad never went to any of the games. It was tradition in our home that as each boy neared 16 he would take on the father role of getting a job to help support the family, my dad did not work throughout the harsh winters in Buffalo being a carpenter and when he did he spent a good chunk of his paycheck on alcohol. Each would fight with my dad, sometimes real fist fights and ultimately each boy would move out of the house once he turned 18. My oldest brother moved out when I was 11, I did not see or hear from him for about 4 years. High school was marked for me by poor grades, sports and a lot of fun at parties drinking. Ironically all three of us swore we would not be like our dad but all turned out much like him, angry, unsure of our feelings and who we were as a person and heavy drinkers. I barely attained the 16 credits required to graduate from high school and as an act of defiance got drunk one afternoon and joined the Coast Guard. Thinking this would shock my parents tmy dadís only response was ď go ahead, see what I care. ď So I joined, left at 18, excelled the first year but lost my enthusiasm quickly and just rode out the last 3 years, wasting a lot of time and drinking every day. When I got out of the CG I traveled west to see the country and stayed in Sacramento for a year and a half. Same story, did well at first, then got bored, partied a lot and got into a lot of trouble. In June of 1982 I moved back to Buffalo, by Dec of 1983 I opened a bar in Williamsville with my best friend. With no business or bar experienced WCB HEROES was a big success, however I was now drinking more and my life was spinning out of control. My 15 year gambling habit was at an all time high sometimes losing more than I earned. My best friend who himself drank daily advised me to get help. I started attending AA and seeing a psychiatrist to deal with the emotions of anger and issues of why I took chances with little regard for my life, had no hope for my future and liked the feeling of being out of control. It was about this time when the pain of living this way exceeded the occasional fun I was having, I was nearing hitting rock bottom. Here is where Godís mercy kicked in. Sometime in1985 for about six months straight I would go to bed drunk and before I would pass out I would pray this prayer, ď Dear God please change my lifeĒ but my will would answer , ďno donít change my life,Ē until one night after my prayer my will gave in and didnít say a word. I canít explain it but the next day I didnít drink and I didnít gamble, after 10+ years of daily activity. Without knowledge of the word of God and without any formal prayer God delivered me of two addictive habits, a miracle. He did however leave me with the core issues to further show me how much I would need to rely on Him. In a short time I put my bar up for sale, took the first offer and never looked back, absolutely no regrets. It was then that I started my Real Estate investing. I had two thousand dollars left after commission from the down payment on my bar sale. With no experience, little credit established and one semester of college under my belt I started my new venture. The business grew rapidly after the first two years. It was around this time, 1988 that I met Maria. Prior to this time all my dating relationships were increasingly more dysfunctional. I learned that we are attracted to people who make us feel comfortable, being that I grew up in an alcoholic home, everyone I dated was either an alcoholic or from a dysfunctional home as I was. By Godís grace a pattern was being severed and although by no means perfect Maria and I built a relationship. In 1990 we were married and two months later we visited our first Christian church together. I was amazed after believing in God all my life how little I knew about the bible and Godís character. It was comforting to know that God wasnít mad at me but that He loved me. Bible verses again and again proved He loved me when I was yet a sinner. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have eternal life. Itís amazing to me to think back that I was reluctant at first to pay $20 for a good bible when now it is my most valued possession. My first 32 years I never read a page of it, my first year I read it cover to cover. The word of God has changed my life and is the foundation for my family, business and every part of my life. Before becoming a Christian I had fun occasionally but looked at life and my future with little hope. I sincerely believed I would not marry or have children because I didnít deserve it because of the terrible things I did, which were typical of most young people. After a year in that church I developed close friendships and I openly confessed I still cheated on my taxes. A few Christian friends shared with me scripture saying we are to obey all authority and pay our taxes. When I hesitantly decided to test God and do things by the book my business really took off. Throughout the years I have found all biblical principles to be 100% true. One major one is ď you reap what you sow.Ē As I stated I started with $2000.00 19 years ago. When I dedicated my business in 1992 it grew exponentially. God has been far more faithful to me as I have been to Him and He has blessed me way beyond what I deserve. Here is the amazing thing. He wants to do that for you! God does not always bless or reward us with finances but He does always bless and reward those who diligently seek Him.

Please call me anytime. I would much rather share the Gospel than talk business anytime. My cell number is 716-400-1921 and daytime is the best time to reach me.

God bless you,

Dan

THE GOSPEL

John 3:16 sums it up, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever would believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. When I wasnít a Christian I would watch football games and see guys holding up signs in the end zone reading John 3:16. I would wonder what it said but never looked it up. That guy in the end zone did his part, but I was too lazy to do my part. The bible is all true, and itís real, and the Word of God can and will change your life. Open your heart to it, read it and meditate on it. If you do not believe in God or that His word can change you and your circumstances, test Him. Pray a prayer like this, Lord I do not believe, help me believe in you and your word. Please change my life. He did it for a drunk like me, He did it for my dad and my brothers, He did it for countless people in the bible and He is doing it for countless others daily. The Lord Jesus Christ can and will change your life. Trust Him today. If you call me I will pray with you and help however I can. Here are some scriptures to look up in this order: Romans 3:23 and 6:23, John 3:3 and 14:6, Romans 10:9-11 and Revelation 3:20

Unless otherwise noted all site material copyright Pilgrim Properties Dec. 2004