Good day to all my readers! Hope all is well with your soul, and if you are heavy burdened in any way we all know who to turn to for guidance and deliverance. May all of us have His knowledge given to us that reveals our soul only rest in Him.
Today I am interviewing a new Christian writer name John R.Haeffele. He has an amazing testimony our Heavenly Father has given Him to proclaim. Our Heavenly Father went beyond giving Him the words to tell, He gave Him the gift of writing, and John’s testimony has become his first book, a memoir called, Therefore I have hope.
John also has a Facebook site, The prodigal one, and blog website called www.prodigalone.com. That is full of God's messages He has given to John that may lead you to the Cross.
I had been a Christian most of my life. Trouble started when I began living half in the world and the other half in the Word. The half in the world was an open invitation for the devil to come in. Sin has consequences. My sin led to a prison sentence. It was sitting in a 6 X 10 cell when I decided to fully devote my life to God.
Vicki’s response: That truly is a place where one can find Him, when they are alone, all is lost to them, they have no power to change the situation, and His voice is the only one they want, and needs to be heard desperately. Your book reveals how desperate you had become, and I think that is a very important part of the story. He still will save you no matter how low one may think they are. At the same time, I hope many realize one does not need to become that desperate to be desperate enough to call out to Him or hear His voice.
What made you aware that your writing was a gift from God to be used for His purpose, and not a gift to use for your own purpose?
I was a “D” student in English. I never enjoyed reading or writing. The only book I ever read was the Bible. Now I love reading and writing my weekly blog, and messages for speaking engagements. John 3:21 Jesus says, “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." Anyone who knew me in my prior life would agree the only way I have accomplished what I have accomplished is by the hand of God. Whatever I do, I do all for the glory of God.
Vicki’s response: Amen, John. I totally understand what you mean being transformed into a workman, or student approved by God, verses, what you were before you knew Him. A person not having any comprehension of what they were reading or any desire to learn about writing, then comprehend everything they read, and a huge desire to learn all there is about writing. They learn it all from the only one that can give it to them personally or through another for His purpose and plan. That is when a person realizes all they have been given is given by Him, and all they have belongs to Him to use for His purpose.
Why do you believe God desires this book, Therefore I have Hope, to be written?
I believe God desired this story to be written to glorify Him, and give the readers a message of hope. For many, prison can be a hopeless situation. Along with their hope many lose their families. My family, and I were separated for 25 months. I hurt them tremendously, but they stayed by my side. It would have been easy for them to walk away. My family, and my God proved that love never fails. I have a story to tell the world about who God is and what He has done in our lives.
Do you believe it was your families love, and hope they had for you, or was it God’s love, and His hope pouring out of them for you?
I believe it was God's love, and His hope pouring out of them for me. God is love. It is so easy to turn your back on someone when they fail. God's love flowing through us is the only thing that has gotten us this far. The only thing that has kept us together.
Vicki’s response: I also know through your story it was His judgement, and truth you accepted that kept your family together. Your wife did not ignore your wrong choices, you both faced them together, and took what came together, and both were not afraid to pay the price to get through this problem you had created. This also will prove to all people God is a God of love and judgement and we all live through all of Him and share what He gives each of us through one another and forgive and begin again.
Do you believe one of the reasons a lot of his children may become worldly is they are taught wrong from the very beginning, and are being deceived?
I believe some churches have watered down Christianity. If the clergy is not teaching the Word of God, then those in the congregation are being deceived. There is a spiritual war being waged between good and evil. People need to be made aware of what is right and what is wrong according to scripture, and if the church is not teaching it then the members need to find a new church.
Do you believe all God’s children can be pulled away from the Lord by the cares of this world, and that is a normal response for all His children, or does it depend on who each of them are, and how they relate to Him?
I believe God intends all of us to live a life according to His will. I also believe God gave us freewill and everyone is susceptible to sin. How deep one falls, depends on the individual. I have found if a person gives into one sin, an inch, it will take a mile, and soon the person will be drowning in it. From my own personal experience the devil used a chink in my Spiritual armor to work his way into my life. The Apostle Paul tells us, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I still may sin but I immediately turn away from it and turn to God.
Vicki’s response: Amen, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, but He did not sin and He does not fall short, that is why He could only die for us, so through Him we will not either if we walk in the light as He is in the Light, and if we do sin He intercedes for us by our repentance. We never should live in it any longer if we are walking in and through His light.
Do you think the devil as the power to lay the ground work for our circumstances, or do you think God has power over the devil?
God is the creator of all things and has power over all things. If we look at the story of Job the devil needed permission from God to attack Job.
God gives us the right to choose. To sin or not to sin. Prior to my incarceration, I was not walking the path God had intended for me. I chose sin. I chose death. Now, I choose life.
Vicki response: Job is a wonderful message from God that reveals His power over Satan, and God was the one that told Satan about testing Job’s faith, and righteousness, not the other way around.
If God gives each person the right to choose sin or not to sin then why do we need the Cross?
We all sin we all need a Savior. In my case I chose to continue sinning instead of sincerely repenting and asking for forgiveness.
Vicki’s response: I think your key word is “continue”, and many continue without sincerely repenting. I believe your story will awaken many sleeping “repenters” to an awakening to what true repentance means.
Do you believe it is the choices we make with our own power, or more of a choice to give our will to Him making those choices for us through His power?
I believe when we are walking in the way we are in sync with the Holy Spirit. I do not make any choices until I take it to God in prayer. No longer do I make any hasty decisions, I wait for the Spirit to lead.
Do you believe a child or an adult can fully give up all and be completely devoted to Him all their lives?
I believe one can be completely devoted to God, but that they will still be in a constant battle with sin. The more we walk in the way the less likely we will fall off the path God has laid out for us. When we devote our lives to God, our tools for battling sin become stronger. We become spiritually stronger through a steady diet of prayer and God's Holy Word.
Do you believe God convicts us through His Spirit every time we sin or some time?
I believe God convicts us through the Holy Spirit every time we sin. Once again it depends on how in tune we are to the Spirit. When I was a living a sinful life the voice of conviction was faint. The darkness of this world was making me blind to see the poor choices I was making. Just like when Jesus gave sight to the blind he has opened my eyes to the truth. When I sin I sense it immediately, I sincerely repent, and turn to God.
Do you believe we ignore Him, and choose not to listen to him more than He ignores us, and listens to us?
God does not ignore His children. I believe what happens is the more we live in the world the less we can hear God when He calls. Now that I have devoted my life to working for the King when He calls I hear him loud and clear.
Do you believe we can serve the world, ourselves, others, and God at the same time?
I have been determined to live by the motto God first, family second and everything else a distant third. I do not begin my day before prayer, reading, and meditating on the Bible. This is not a guarantee that I will have a care free day, but it helps prepare me for what lies ahead and keeps me focused on the cross. We can serve the world, ourselves and others but we always need to serve and seek God first.
Vicki’s response – I believe God gives us that determination and will to do what pleases Him from all He gives us of himself through His Spirit. Our Lord was very determined to please His Father and through that same Spirit when we receive Him we receive that same determination.
Do you think God picks us up through our faith in Him giving us all we need to lift ourselves up, or we pick ourselves up by our own faith, power, and grace when we fall?
God picks us up through our faith. Our faith grows as we draw closer to God and as we become more dependent on God. I lacked faith in God and tried to become independent and do things on my own. Dependence on God is all He ever wanted from me.
Do you think it is our faith, or His faith given to us through His Spirit?
It is not our faith but it is His faith given through His Spirit. The faith I have is because of Christ in me.
Your last statement in your book, “No matter how many times the devil knocks me down,” doesn’t that imply that you think he can knock you down?
The Apostle Paul often referred to our walk with Christ as an athletic event. I finished the first edition of the book in 2014 after I was released from prison. The devil was coming at me in all different directions and yes sometimes he would knock me down, but by the grace of God I would get up before the 10 count. I have trained in the way of the Lord and my faith has gotten stronger. It has been a long time since the devil knocked me down. He may knock me back a step, but never down again.
Vicki’s response: I know if I keep walking in the light as He is in the light the devil has no power to knock me back or down. If God is for us through His Son, who has the power in hell or earth to make us step back, trip, or fall ever again? No other spirit, including our human spirit, can stand up to our Heavenly Father through His Son. If we are willing to give ourselves to Him wholeheartedly, because He is willing to give us all we need to walk in the light as He was, is, and always will be for eternity in His light.
John, thank you so much for joining me, and my readers on my blog! It was a wonderful adventure reading your book, and learning about you personally! God’s work in you, through your life story, and His gifts, this book, Therefore I have Hope, reveals another proof He is real, and can transform anyone who is willing to give all of themselves to Him. Your life, His gifts, and your book revealed to me He never gives up on a soul no matter how hopeless it may seem there is always hope in Him taking His reborn children beyond themselves in ways they can't imagine! May He continue to increase, while you decrease, so all people who read or hear His testimony of who He is in your life, any way He gives you, may be drawn to Him. I know I was drawn to Him all the way through it! We both give Him all the glory and the praise for the work He has given both of us to share!