My Testimony

carter_and_me

I grew up in Virginia to an alcoholic father and a mother who enabled him to drink. There wasn’t really any abuse in my family and my parents raised us four kids (of which I am the oldest) the best that they could. I guess I had a fairly average childhood and was happy for the most part.

When I was in High School my father began to attend AA meetings and he and my mother started to attend church. At first they along with us children attended an Episcopal church of which I became an Altar Boy. Later we attended a Charismatic church, which I didn’t care for at all. One Sunday I did go to the altar to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, but it was to just please my mother. I didn’t have a heart conversion.

To make a long story short: While in High School I began to associate with the partying crowd, drinking and doing drugs. One evening in my senior year my mother and I got into an argument and I left home and hitchhiked to my grandparents’ home in Georgia where I graduated from High School and joined the US Navy.

I spent the next seven and one half years in the Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician travelling all over the Far East and the US. I had a really great career before me, but I threw it all out the window because all that I was interested in was getting drunk and chasing women.  I received an “Other than Honorable” discharge for being constantly drunk on duty. I don’t know if I was an atheist or not because I never gave God a thought.

I moved in with my sister in New Jersey for a couple of years but because of my drinking she kicked me out of her home. This was my first experience with being homeless. I was forced to sleeping in doorways and on park benches, eating in soup kitchens or out of dumpsters and all the other hardships of that lifestyle. This was in the fall of 1982. I took a bus to Los Angeles and joined the program at the LA Rescue Mission, where I sincerely gave my life to Jesus in March of 1985. I was at that mission for two years serving the Lord, but finally I fell to the temptations of Satan and relapsed and backslid into a life of sin.

That describes my life since the mid 1980’s until the present time: I would be homeless for a period of time, traveling on a Greyhound bus around the country, if I could afford it, from CA to FL to WA to NY, sleeping and eating where I could. When I got tired of being homeless I would find a program to join. Sometimes it would be a Christian program and sometimes a secular program. I would usually do well in the program and get a job and occasionally, if it was a Christian program, I would rededicate my life to Christ. I even completed a two year correspondence Bible School and recorded the complete Bible on cassette tapes while at the Portland Rescue Mission in 1990.

At the present moment I am living in Las Vegas and am trying my best to be obedient to God, but I do still succumb to sin on occasion. I read my Bible daily along with several devotionals as well as maintaining a near constant attitude of prayer. I have my own little studio apartment and get food stamps thanks to me being a Veteran.  I have been complacent about seeking employment. But, I am praying about it. I am tired of sitting around broke all the time. But, I know that God will answer my prayer for a job in the near future. I could also use prayer that the Lord will increase my faith in Him and that I shall remain on the narrow path that leads to Eternal Life.

I plan on serving the Lord and using my Spiritual gifts in whatever capacity that He’ll have me in. Because of my past experiences I would like to be an Evangelist to the Homeless population of America. I would also like to write and design websites that deal with that problem.

I have many hobbies such as reading, designing websites, playing chess, furthering my education and just enjoying life the best that I can.

Introduction

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This is Me

Hello, everyone! My name is Michael Steven (Ozzie) Osborn. This shall be my attempt to write my autobiography or rather my memoirs, since it shall rely mostly on my memory of events, as well as my thoughts on a wide range of topics and maybe even an occasional story; rather than me trying to locate people in order to interview them.

This is my first attempt at writing a book and it may take me awhile to write this memoir. Because, even though I am an avid reader, I get rather lazy when it comes to the discipline of writing. It also probably has something to do with me having so many various interests I have a problem with staying focused on one project at a time until completion. So please be patient with me. If you want to learn a little more about me, please visit my website at: http://www.mikeosborn.comule.com.

I believe that I’ve had a very interesting life up to this point, which is slightly more than fifty-seven years. During much if not most of that time I have been traveling around this country called the United States of America by Greyhound Bus, being homeless and going in and out of various programs. I have met many interesting people and seen many things. Overall, in my experience, it hasn’t been a bad life. Considering it was completely unplanned.

I’ll begin by relating my current circumstances in life. Where I find myself at the present moment certainly is not what I had planned for myself at this stage in life. But, due to the choices that I have made, here I am. I certainly wish that it was different. Whether I would be any happier, I doubt it. I don’t believe that happiness resides in material possessions. If it did, I would be one of the most miserable persons in the world. Sure, I guess that it is rather nice to have a lot of material possessions. But, it probably causes more problems than it solves. As Jesus said, “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul?”

At the moment I am unemployed and flat broke. I’m just barely surviving on SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits and I am extremely lucky to be a veteran, because 100% of my rent is paid by a program called HUD-VASH (similar to Section 8 housing). So if nothing else at least I have shelter and food. My dog, Carter, has to eat hot dogs because I can’t buy dog food with SNAP benefits. It would be nice to have a little income so that I can buy some other things that I need which would make my job search easier. I’ve heard it said that it is easier to find a job when you already have a job. I believe that because it is extremely difficult to get a job when I can’t afford a bus pass to get to job interviews, get a haircut, do laundry and the many other little things that a person needs to do to find employment.

Anyway, when I watch the news and see how bad off many people are in this world, who am I to complain? I live like a king compared to many people. Also, when I see how lost and trapped in a really sinful and immoral lifestyle many people are, with no hope of a glorious eternity in heaven, I am so thankful that I have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. It is obvious, therefore, that I follow a Christian worldview. Also, I consider myself to be a tea party conservative, a fundamental, Bible believing, evangelistic Christian. I certainly have not considered myself to be these things until fairly late in life. I do still struggle with some sins or maybe just habits that I know are not for God’s glory. As will become apparent in this memoir, I have been going through life trying to figure out who and what I am. I have been very wishy-washy. There are so many interesting things to pursue that it has been difficult to stay with one particular plan. My previous disease or rather sinful lifestyle of alcohol abuse and lust of the flesh I’m sure had something to do with my present circumstances.

I believe that a short physical description of me and my living conditions is appropriate here and then I shall get into the body of this adventure.

I live in a small studio apartment, really no more than a hotel room, with a small kitchen area. I do have a great southern view out my window of downtown Las Vegas, the Stratosphere, etc. Sometimes, on a lonely Friday or Saturday night I stand at my window and gaze out at the bright and colorful neon lights of Vegas and feel a little depressed when I realize how many millions and billions of dollars as well as beautiful people are just a short distance from me and here I am broke and lonely. Yes, I do get on my self-pity trips from time-to-time.

I have become the proud owner of a really nice and intelligent dog who keeps me company and who I can talk to. He keeps me from being too depressed and isolating from other people. Before I had him I would sometimes go two or three days without leaving my room. He is a pain in the butt sometimes by his bugging me to go for a walk. This is particularly annoying the first thing in the morning before I even have a cup of coffee. He has just turned four years old and is a mix between a Chihuahua and a Jack Russell. Carter has a small head and a chunky, white and grey body, with brown spots. The way that I came to own him was not planned. The previous owner asked me to watch him while he went through the program at US Vets downstairs. This was only supposed to be for a few months, but Jeff, the previous dog owner, got kicked out of the program due to drug abuse, and with him now being homeless I ended up keeping the dog, since Jeff had no means of supporting a dependant. Jeff has since moved up to Washington state and has basically gave me the ownership of Carter. He may come back to reclaim the dog one day if he ever can settle down, but I kinda doubt it. I hope not, because I have gotten rather attached to my little buddy.

I consider myself to be a fairly average looking middle-aged man. I am about five feet nine inches tall and weigh approximately one hundred forty pounds. I still have a full set of still mostly brown hair. Yes, it has some grey in it, especially along the sides. I wear glasses and have dentures on the top of my mouth. I still have most of my lower teeth. I used to have better than 20/20 vision in both eyes, but I guess age eventually catches up with all of us. I still am in excellent health with an occasional back ache, mostly in the mornings when I first get up. I also consider myself to be in pretty good physical condition considering I don’t put any effort into exercising more than is necessary for my daily activities.

I am getting rather anxious to get to the meat of this story, writing, memoir, autobiography, or whatever it may turn out to be. As you, the reader, will be able to tell, I’m no professional writer and therefore I may ramble and get side tracked and off the subject or topic here and there. But, have no fear I shall try to be interesting and hopefully not too dull and boring.

Keep coming back those of you who may be reading the uncompleted version of this memoir online because of course I’ll be doing revisions, additions and so forth until I have a completed project, which very well may consume many productive years of my existence. But, this is my legacy to the human race. Without further ado lets begin the story of Michael Steven (Ozzie) Osborn.