Patrick James

Patrick JamesJulian: Welcome. This is Patrick James from Boston, Massachusetts. Thank you, bro. Take it away.

Thank you, Julian. I was hoping to tell Matteo thank you for mentioning myself to you guys. I was hoping he’d be on tonight, if he isI want to thank Don Rocci as well. These are the brothers from the Boston Chapter of the Full Gospel if you don’t know who I’m talking about. Where do I start? First and foremost I thank God for these vehicles, and thank God for this technology. The simple fact is that it was made for other reasons, but right now, because we could take this stuff, switch it around, take them, and use them mightily. I just felt I had to say that because it's the truth. Other than that, I’m Patrick James. I was born in Rochester New York. My mother and father loved theyre 3 sons and continue to love us with theyre whole hearts. Also I am a grandson to a Bible believing Grandmother. She was a prayer warrior who graduated back in 2008.

She’s with the Lord. She left her old life in her early 50s. My grandmother was 71 when she passed away. And I thank God for her because I believe she was the person that was designated to pray for me and many others to come to the Lord. It was difficult. I resisted her prayers but they worked anyway. I thank the Lord for my grandmother, Dorothy Hopkins for standing in the gap for all those years. Thank you Jesus.

My journey began back when I was about 8 years old and what ended up happening was I was like any regular kid, born in the 80s living a really good life. It wasn't perfect, but it was a really good life. My mom took care of us the best we could, and she showed us right from wrong. For most that would be good enough, it did somegood, but there were flaws. Growing up into a two-parent household, you would think that's good enough. You sprinkle a little God in there, that's even better. The truth remains that there wasn't a lot of God in the house. We were open to whatever was going on in our house at that time and unfortunately because we were open to that, we stumbled upon a lot of things that we weren't supposed to see.

So earlier on, one of those things that I wasn't supposed to see was pornography. As a young kid, I was probably 8 years old the first time I ran into it, and we were just putting on videotapes thinking that we're going to watch a regular old movie. The crazy part was we didn't expect something like pornography. So when we put on this particular tape, we thought it was a good thing because it didn't have any writing on it or anything of the sort, so we put it in, we're all sitting there in the room hanging out, my brothers, myself, and I believe my cousin. I can’t believe I remember this, I am older now and I don't know what I do half the time, but boom, there it was. It was one of the most shocking things I've ever seen in my life. It utterly changed my life going on to my adult years.

I'm not going to lie. It changed me. It changed my perspective on women, on adults, and what to really think about adults, and how adults are towards each other behind doors. It diminished my respect for everything that I mentioned. Going forward, growing up, this thing is on my mind for a long time and it's messed up my way of thinking. I wanted to grow up fast because I was so curious about it.

But I wasn't realizing how harmful it was to me, and it was really killing my childhood. So as time went on, getting older, that’s all I'm thinking about is what I can do next and who I can do this with next and girls this and girls that, when I should have been thinking about younger things. Things that kids usually are supposed to do. Normal thoughts to what kids are supposed to be, like playing sports or hanging out with my friends playing games and stuff like that. But instead, I'm thinking sex, sex, sex, and that's all I could really think about. So it was crazy for a long time because I kept it a secret, as well. But this secret, as it was eating at me for a long time, and no one knew. I listened to my parents. I was always obedient to adults, but in the back of my mind I was always thinking about sex and I was craving for this thing. It was when I was a teenager when I indulged in it. When I experienced it, I grew confused and even more curious. It was like doing drugs for the first time.After I experienced it, that's all I wanted. It's all I could think about. I thought about it as a child, but now as a young teenager, that's all I could think about because I experienced it.

Even though I dealt with that, my grandmother who I mentioned earlier was a praying woman. Someone who spent night and day covering our family with prayer. Like literally, knowing every second of her life, trying to grow closer to Jesus, you can't hide from a praying woman or a woman who thinks like that or a man who thinks like that. They are too discerning. So that gave her enough discernment to understand or know that I was going through something. She would always say things like, "are you okay? I haven't talked to you for a while." And I mumbled, "Yeah, I'm good." She said, “You should come to church with me." I was about 14 years old at this time. "You should come to church with me." “Yeah, I don’t know, mommy. You know I got school on Monday, I can't go on Sunday. You go to church on Sunday, right? Yeah, I thought it was on Saturday for some reason."
Anyway, you could always find a way out of going to church. I didn't want it. I was scared to go. I was actually scared of it. I was actually scared that God was going to kill me. I'm not even joking. I know its so cliché to say this, but I thought if I stepped into the church the way I was, that God was going to strike me dead right on the spot. I honestly felt that way. But one day I gave in. “I really want you boys to go with me.So my older brother, he was going through something and he finally just submitted and he was like, "I'm going to church." I seen my older brother submits and something just clicked and said"just go with him." So I went.

Let's just say the enemy was working 10 times harder not to get us there because my dad let my brother drive the car lol. He didn't have a driver's license and so we drove up a curve, then all of a sudden, we're like, "okay, nope. This is a wrong idea, we're going home. We didn't get much damage; it was a little dent in the bumper so we kept going to church. I'll never forget the moment we got to church for the rest of my life. When I walked through those doors, I looked at my brother, I was like, "okay, he for sure should go first and I can avoid getting struck by the lightning. But no, my brother walked through those doors, he started crying. I don't know if it was when I seen my brother crying or when I felt like everybody in the church was looking at me but it was a heavy presence that I felt. I was just like, "Woe. I don't know what that is." I felt guilty, so guilty. I started crying. I mean the wet works turned on, the faucets of my eyes, turned into a running faucet on both sides. Mind you I've never been to church like that. I went on the occasional holidays, some Sundays.

You’ve got to believe in Jesus, You got to believe in Jesus. And no word of a lie, I see why they would say thatgrowing up. I honestly seem why they said it. Going back to that Sunday, it's fair to say I actually submitted my life to Christ that morning for the first time. And mind you, it was the first time I submitted my life and the experience was awesome. I felt brand new. Most people say that you feel like everything washes off of you or you feel like a load has been taken off and that lines up with Scripture. Jesus says, “take off your yoke it is heavy, take on mine it is much lighter.” “When you get saved, you feel that way.”

Now that was at 14 years old. So I'm going to heaven, and I know Jesus. So I don't know anyone in church except for some of the girls at church and my cousin. “He was up to no good," and I fell right into that. So what ends up happening is I am up to no good, and stopped going to church. I start living that life of sin again. I started embracing it and enjoying it. And for some reason I'm thinking that “If this church stuff is real, then I should not even be doing it. So, God, you must not really care about me.” So I looked at life with that frame of mind, thinking that was it that God didn't care. So I thought maybe, "You know what? It is what it is. I'm going to live my life." So here I am thinking I'm a free thinker, I'm a teenager. I started wondering about different religions and all this other stuff. So guess what I started to do? I started to gamble with different religions. One, in particular, was The Five percenters.

God always had his hand in my life, because the moment my enlightenment sked me, "Do you still believe in that God, that porcelain god in the sky?” My stomach turned. It literally turned and this was a friend of mine who I'd known since I was 13 years old and I was 17 when I started embracing this new type of religion, this different belief. When he told me that I looked at him like, "Oh, I don't think that's right." Something inside me said turn away. I said, “I'll talk to you later." And I thought maybe, "You know because he's technically my best friend and he's going to understand." No, he wanted to fight. As a matter of fact, he wants to fight me so bad that he threatened me as I walked away from him. He kept threatening me telling me "When I see you, I’m going to..." And then he started threatening me with bodily harm. I'm glad I walked away from that. Was I scared? Yeah, I was scared, but even more afraid of rejecting God, rejecting Christ. So I literally just like, "You know what? I’m done with this."

I guess I love the aesthetic of it or the culture of it so much that I dwellt in it. I used to listen to the type of music they listen to. I would remember how my Grandmother was, she's a praying woman a woman of discernment, remember that ok. So I'm hanging out with these guys, and other guys who study that particular type of religion. These guys to me were like some coolest guys as you can possibly meet because they have like this style of talking, the style of clothing that they wore that just fit this culture which is really awesome. I thought it was awesome. And I'm hanging with these guys. I think it was for me to get girls at that time. So lo and behold my grandmother who I forgot works down the street from where these guys are hanging out. Well here comes this hardcore Christian woman who knows that something's wrong, coming down the street.

She seen me from a distance and said, "Come here. You're going to walk with me." I said, "Oh I'm hanging out with my friends.""No, not today, you're going to walk with me. Let's go get something at Wendy's." I looked at her and I was like, "But mom." Then I said, "Okay let's go get Wendy's," because you don't talk back to momma. "You know, they're up to no good. You know they're about that crazy stuff. They talk out of their behinds. Come over here you're going to eat lunch with me and we're going to talk." We talked and talked. She's talking to me about the Word. You know it just felt like her words were chiming ingenuinely.

I was just getting so much from her. I still have my mindset on doing things my way. So, after that, I left all that alone. I ended up getting into a college that I really wanted to go to. Technically, a culinary school, and I left it all behind. I know I would have to go back to certain people because family lives in my city where I'm from. But, I didn't really think about it. I was just thinking that I'm moving forward. So I believed I was escaping everything, even the Christianity thing, right? I thought so. My roommate turns out being Born- Again. No, I can't go nowhere without these people telling me about Jesus. So all of a sudden, he's like, "Hey, brother, dadada." I'm like, "eh." It was almost like I couldn't be mean to him because there was something really good about him, but I didn't want to be bothered at the same time. But I realized that I just had to be nice to him. He's invited me to Bible study and stuff like that and I keep rejecting him because I'm so focused on everything else. Then one day I get a call from home that my dog died. He's seeing me crying about the dog, and he was like, "Hey, let’s pray. You don't have to tell me what it is. If you want to pray, and then I’ll pray. I'm here for you if you need that." Now, mind you I didn't hear anything about him. We didn't talk a lot, but I still felt like I had him protecting me. I didn't know why, but when he showed that compassion to me, and I was a jerk to him, it did something to me. I got that feeling like I got from my grandmother’s prayers. I ended up taking to him about my dog and I felt that feeling again, like this is right, this is cheering me up. I listened to him minister to me until I had to leave school.

So I left school and literally I went back home, nobody knew, whats going on. Still in this state of mind about what I'm going to do. To try and move forward I moved to Boston and that's when my life honestly changed because when I thought I was escaping. I thought I was going to start this new life as a single guy in the city. I realized that God wasn't done. He was not going torelent. So he kept people in my life and kept me veering towards Him. One of the first people I met in Boston was a young woman by the name of Michelle. She actually helped me to rededicate my life to Christ. I was about 20 years old when I rededicated my life. I lived it out, I learned about Jesus, and then I met my wife. We lived our life with our own ambitions. But, shortly after we got married, I would say about six years after we got married, we ended up having our first pregnancy. Unfortunately, where the enemy thought he was going to defeat us, by losing our daughter.

Usually they say that's what breaks the relationship. No. I believe that God created even a greater bond between my wife and I and it solidified our faith. See my wife wasn't supposed to carry my daughter. They recommended and were pleading with us to have an abortion. We were like, "No, that's one thing that we will never do." Now I understand exactly why. Because of all the prayers that were deposited by my grandmother and my sister-in-law did, it all affected us in that way, to keep our mind on morality. And we were like, "Nope, that's not a choice. We're going to hold on to this baby." I was scared, but my wife was diligent about keeping that baby inside. And we did that until the night that she gave birth. Our daughter lived for 10 minutes and passed away. See the Bible says, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” So guess what? She graduated from this earth. I'll be seeing her again and will give her the biggest hug along with everybody including my grandmother and my father-in-law who just recently passed. We're all going to be partying in heaven together, rejoicing and singing with everybody else in heaven. So my wife and I decided to be a little bit more seriously about Jesus. It was about that time when we had my son Myles. He's 10 years old.

It's been a little crazy lately just because of everything that has been going on. I had some existing health issues, but to God be the glory that He's gotten me out all these things because I firmly believe through just being obedient to the Lord and giving Him the glory, He has blessed me with gifts that I've been able to use for the kingdom. Like I rapped before I came to the Lord and dedicate my life to Him. The funny thing was when I started serving in my local church; the assistant pastors heard that I rapped too. No one knew I rapped, so somebody must have tipped him off. He said, "I heard you rap. I want you to join us for worship this Sunday morning.” He said, "Pray on it." I prayed on it. I prayed on it. I prayed for a sign, because I didn't think I was ready. But I thought, "God, if this is Your will let it be done." Now I'm going to dobexactly that. I picked up my pen, and wrote what I needed to write and practiced. It was a worship song that we have been doing ever since.

That led me to Street Ministry and Homeless Ministry, because we believe in going out into the world and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is where I'm getting super excited guys, so bear with me because what I see is, oh my God, hallelujah. I've seen over the years, lives transformed. I can't call it anything else but supernatural. And praise God that I'm just a vessel. He gets the glory and I just get to sit as a witness. I could get to be a witness with what's happening when He uses me. That's beautiful. That, right there is a gift, under the salvation, a byproduct of salvation, that is a gift, praise God.

I know like I never thought a person could be a Christian and a rapper at the same time. Jesus has been giving me more and more to share with the world. And, I'll never forget, I teamed up with a brother in Boston when we were doing a block party and I think this is one of the most impactful things that has happened to me during this whole ministry. I was rapping and this woman was standing in front of me and we're out in the open, we're in the street and anybody can come and go as they please, but this one woman who was standing in front of me, in my spirit, while I was performing the song and worshiping, I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to pray for her. And so I finished and I just had to pray. So I did it.

That woman told me she was addicted to heroin and told me she wanted to die. We know what that leads up to. I told her, "Look, I know this man Jesus and He has so much more for you. If you end it now, your family won’t reap the benefits of what it is that He has in store for you. You need to continue on. You need to press on." And she said, "Thank you, thank you." And then she started crying. I didn't know what else to say after that so I hugged her. And that was it for that time. Now I was also a delivery driver and this is the greatestexperience, this is when it gets crazy. I hadn’t thought of these things because I let God do what He does.I ran into her while driving on my route, and I don't forget faces so I knew it was her. And she looked like she was put together. Now you think this is crazy, but like she had a big smile. I said, "Excuse me!" She looked up and said, "Can I help you?" I was like, "Yeah." I was just so filled with joy."This is what you do, I know what you did for my life, but this is what you do Lord. I know everyone wants a house, a car, and a job but to witness the fruits of the Spirit in action after prayer. That is the greatest gift. I'm just a simple guy who has been chosen to be used by the Most High tonight. Just like you and anyone else, except that I love Jesus. There's nothing special about me except that. Now I have the glory of the Lord in my life. That's it.

I was once told that... It was actually a story. It's a story and it makes so much sense to me. There was an eagle in the wilderness. Everyone didn't leave its nest. People were trying to analyze the eagle. There were scientists that were puzzled. Why is this that the eagle didn’t want to leave its nest? Now, mind you, it was a full-grown eagle that was more than able to fly from the nests. It was just so attached to the nests because it felt that it didn't have any way of leaving the nest. So this eagle would eat what was given to him and eat what was there. He just wouldn't leave the nest. And so one day, he heard something in the air. He kept hearing and hearing it as it grew closer and closer. It was another eagle. The eagle immediately stood up, he kept his eyes gazed on that eagle. It seemed now that the eagle spread its wings and flew with such grace. It has seen it so well that that eagle spread his wings. Once that eagle lifted off that nest it realized that it could do it, too. That's us with a testimony, people. That’s it. I see somebody else with their testimony, you gave me hope. I didn't realize before when I was serving. I didn’t realize that your testimony is that important except when the Bible teaches us that, but I've never seen it executed. We hear the word through preaching, but I’ve never seen somebody give their testimony in that way. So when I realized that, I said, "You know what? It's not about me. It's about what God is doing in my life. What Jesus has done to me by taking the cross?" So if you ever get a chance, any chance whether it be 1or 1000 people, do it. Somebody needs to hear your testimony. I'm Patrick James and that's my testimony.

 

Patrick's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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