Joe Preston

Joe PrestonMY CAREER AS AN ATHLETE WAS OVER

   I was born on August 12th, 1975, in Great Falls Montana   I was raised by my mother and loving family. I had 11 Aunts and Uncles, and 56 first cousins in a Catholic family. Other than the absence of my Father it was an amazing upbringing. I attended Catholic school through 8th grade, then off to High School at Great Falls High. I was an outstanding athlete. I played varsity baseball, football, golf, and wrestling. I was looking at a scholarship to Arizona State University for baseball. Then I was in a terrible car accident and everything changed.

   This is where my real story begins. I hope it will and inspire and ignite a fire in all of you and invite all of you to come on Saturday December 7th for “THE REST OF THE STORY”. By Gods saving grace and mercy, it continues to be a fabulous road of Salvation and Redemption.

   On my 18th birthday I was ejected from a vehicle at eighty-two miles an hour on the interstate outside Great Falls, Montana. I remember sliding across the interstate into the ditch. I'm not sure what happened, but it didn't hurt. I rolled and I stood right up and didn't even realize what was going on. My skin was pretty much removed from the backside of my body. My ankle was smashed. My back had four broken vertebrae. I blacked out during the ambulance drive to the hospital. When I came to in the hospital, my entire family was there and they looked horrified. It was pretty scary. And that was the first time in my life I had prayed to God and I said, "You get me out of this. This can't be happening so I want to go home." 

   They did some x-rays and scans and they grafted skin on my backside. I asked the nurse about going home and she said, "You are not going home." Literally, four hours later, I went home. This ended my sports career and that was my life. Sports were how I got high.

   So unfortunately, I'm on a mend, but doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and whatever my fleshly desires were when I was eighteen years old. My mom and grandparents came to me one day and said, "You need to go to Minnesota and live with your dad.” I had never met my dad. It was the winter of 1994, when I got off the airplane. It was freezing. I saw my dad's face for the first time. And you know what? All that anger and hatred left me. That was my father. I had so many questions to ask him. But he didn't even say a word to me. We just gave each other a big hug. We became really good friends. As soon as springtime came, I said I need a job. The first place I applied gave me a job, and I worked there for five years and things were great.

   But I went back to my old ways, and moved back to Great Falls and did drugs. I never thanked my dad for his help. I married Brenda, and our first child was born on April of '99. Things were going great for about two and a half years until our daughter got sick. She had fallen and hurt her wrist. Her mother took her to the hospital to get x-rays while I was at work. While they're standing in the waiting room, this lady doctor walks by and she stops and backs up and looks at my daughter and said, "Does she look okay to you?" Brenda said, "What do you mean?" She said, "We need to take a blood sample.” Brenda thought who is this crazy woman? So they do a blood test and find leukemia cancer cells in her blood. The doctor said, "Your daughter has leukemia."

   This drove me to my knees. She was there from Seattle for a conference. She was the number one child’s leukemia specialist in the nation. They flew my daughter out on a private jet. I got a flight the next morning to children’s hospital. As soon as I got there, I said we need to find a priest and we need to get my daughter baptized. I'm starting to feel it, okay. So this lady who looks about three hundred years old brings two baby jars of holy water at about 10:00 PM at night. We baptized my daughter and I prayed that night and said, "Lord, You need to heal her and You need to make her better." So we stayed at the children's hospital for about two weeks. I prayed and prayed every single day, "Please Lord, just save her." 

   So as she went through another couple of weeks treatments, I knew she was able to get better and we could take her home to do the treatments. And at his point in time, we're living in Minnesota and I was bartending at the bar in Collier. I've always treated everyone equally. My dad told me, "You can shut your eyes, boy, and if you can tell me what color that person is do you remind them of the Almighty." So that's how I looked at things. We are all the same with all these always are different ever. I've looked at it anymore other than another human being. 

   So the Native American guys were screaming all the time and probably the bartender was ignoring them because of racism. So I went up to them and said, "When you come to this bar, if you want a drink, you just raise your white hand." 

   I'll tell you what, they loved my joke, and it’s a great show. I told them that my daughter had cancer. The next time I was working, these guys came in and they brought the medicine man from the reservation. They did a ceremony and left an eagle feather and he assured me that the creator would heal my daughter. When we went to the hospital the next morning, she was cancer-free. I already mentioned that she is twenty years old; and is in her third year at Hammond University. She's about to work at clinics where they treat people for infectious diseases. Then again, it doesn't matter, the creator is the creator. The Indians saw the eagle’s feather as God the Holy Spirit.

   Awesome, yes so my daughter is good. Well, her mother and I split up and then I met my parent's ex-wife, the number 2. And we have three children together and things were great. 

   We had four children altogether. And then she had three previous children so for thirteen years that I was with her, we raised her other children too. And their dad wasn't in the picture. When I needed something, I'd pray for it and He would deliver it. But in all of this, not even a thank you back. We drifted apart and then we separated. On November 2015, we got back together, and I went right back into doing drugs from 2015 to 2017. I was arrested probably fifteen or sixteen times for drug possession.

   Thus, I'm sitting in jail and that's where I met her. I saw her at Thurman International Falls Jail. I needed help. I looked at John and said, “This really needs to stop, and I think I'm ready.” John said he would make the phone call and you can come to the restoration house when you get out of jail. God will bring you to us. So God showed up. I asked the judge to let there, and promised to get better. I was looking at probably 70 months in prison. It wasn't all for possession of drugs and the judge said, "I'm going to let you out.” I looked at my lawyer, and he went like this. I looked at the prosecutor and he is like, “What’s going on?" How great is Jesus?

   When I left that jail, I didn't have a jacket. It was February. So I started walking across this area then the Perkins parking lot and asked a lady to use her cell phone to call my mom. Mom said, "Where are you? What are you going to do?" I said, "Mom, I don't know, I have nothing". And she said, "Well, I rented you room at the Meridian for two days." She said again, "Where are you?" And I said, "I am looking right at the Meridian." 

   So I wake up in the morning and try to call these treatment facilities. Then I remembered what Johnson said, “Call the restoration house and I'll bring you there." I called them and they had me picked me up within a half an hour. While filling out the paperwork and I've felt someone come in the room. I could feel the smile. I could feel the love, and I turned around and there was Johnson Pickey and he said, "I told you. Get on your knees and surrender yourself to Christ and make Him your life." I said, "I will do that tonight, sir." 

   I got on with the paperwork and I remember someone tell me, "I'll put the right people in your life at the right time. You should have to be paying attention." Okay, so an hour after my paperwork, we have our first little group meeting and we have a Pastor walking into the church. Here comes Adam Alina. I haven’t seen him in about fifteen years since we worked together. He had just cleaned up his act and gave himself to Christ. He sits down right next to me. Well, I had been sober four or five years. I used to play softball with him twenty years ago. And then I heard he was a really obnoxious person.

   "God, you put those guys in my life at the right time when I was paying attention?" And he told me just a couple of simple things, "Surrender you to Christ, and turn every little thing over to Him.” Now all I feel is God's love which is unconditional forever and ever. So that's how I feel, so that's how I convey, “Shine the light.” People cannot deny the fact that I am on fire. You've seen me and you know there was something about me. There is no negativity in my life anymore. Life used to stress me out with little stuff. It just doesn't exist. 

   When I have worked at the grocery store, I'm not here for the money. I've done the math on my bills every month and I get negative results, and I don't know how, I have a hundred dollars in my pocket? God takes care of me. I started last Monday with zero dollars in my pocket. My kids were coming this next weekend, and we made it. We had the greatest time of our lives. We went sledding and fishing, and had plenty of food and not a single dollar to my name. Every day if you're paying attention and you noticed the things that He does for us, it is just unbelievable. Non-believers or people on the fence will say, "Coincidence." Well, I’ll tell you what, I read a quote somewhere and it said, "Coincidence is God's way of staying in touch with us." 

   Everything happens for a reason. It's all planned out. You've seen it, past, present and future. So why not just go along for the ride? I still have those days when I am trying to cling to something like something will happen. Man, just step back, it's all good, and He’s got me. No matter what happens, I know that he'll carry me through this. He is carrying me along; he is not going to let me go now. So what I have been doing everyday is come here and I don't know what’s going to happen. I probably deal with two to three-hundred people a day. And my goal is to make their day a little bit better. I believe that we can talk with total strangers and help change their lives. But, not only theirs; but it helped me too. That helps me tremendously with keeping the fire burning, and people ask me how you can be in such a good mood. I'm struggling with the custody of the kids, and we're going to court. I see my kids every day not just on the weekend.

   I've learned that with Him; I can be close to Him and devote myself to Christ. I get a chance to minister to my children and people in the marketplace every day. Talking with people is a gift. There isn't a single person I have worked with that I don't get along with. So I've been wondering what my calling is beyond this place? I think about at the end of the day what I can do for this store. I need to go on and do new things. 

   So a couple of months ago, I have been a single dad for about four years and I said, "You know, God, I think I'm ready to share my life with somebody." Yes, four or five years later, there she is. I haven't seen her for about seventeen years and met her twenty years ago. She is an amazing Christian woman. She never drank, smoked, or did drugs. She loves fishing, the outdoors, and she’s a great mother. So we've just been hanging out, we've been doing some fishing. Careful what you wish for. She's got me going to the gym. It's amazing. So I meet this woman and I want to do ministry. I did some outreach and really loved that. I really love people. I wanted to help the people that are struggling with addictions or just struggling. So she's going to start a new business here the first of the year. She’s going to hire me and pay me about three times what I'm making here. I can make plans to pursue some more ministries. This is going to be a new supernatural ministry of starting a school next fall.

   I'm going to close with Philippians 4:4-8 King James Version (KJV)

  • 4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
  • 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
  • 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
  • 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
  • 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

   In the name of Jesus Christ, I love you guys. Thanks for letting me share this time with you and you guys have a blessed weekend.

 Click on hyperlink below for Joe Preston's audio and go to most recent meeting December 7, 2019.

Website: http://www.fullgospelbemidji.org

Hearing His Voice Testimony

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