Revealings in the Dark

The dark path, penetrated by shafts of light cutting through the mist of the untold day.

The path though traveled often is unknown, for who knows what the familiar path holds until it is walked out in it’s entirety in the present. This reality pushes me forward; possibilities of refreshing, renewing and renovating waft in the crispness of the darkness like the aroma of pine on a mountainside, on the verge of overwhelming yet captivating.

In the silence my thoughts begin to flow. Like that of a babbling brook which seems to flow uphill…. am I seeking or am I fleeing? Does it matter? In this contemplation the tangible reality dissipates. The only illumination, hazy yellow markers cutting the darkness like that of a dull knife, still glowing from the fires embrace.

My eyes cannot help but be drawn off this path into the darkness, where the unknown spectrum lies. Blessings and monsters dot my horizon but remain unseen from this vantage.

The days is before me, what does it hold?

Written by: Justin Ludwig

01/07/2019

Prayer Invitation

https://rawdisciple.com/prayer-requests/

I notice people as I go about my day. Everyone I pass, I wonder what their story is…because we all got a story. When someone looks at me with hostility I wonder what happened in their life that got them to that point. When that happens I can’t help but see who so I used to be….who I am still capable of being.

I am drawn to the frustrated, hostile and the forgotten because I remember that feeling. I want to run up to everyone I see and tell them that they are loved, by me and by Jesus. And if I get punched in the face for doing it, so be it…. I try to avoid this whenever possible though 🙂 I am not talking like I’m some tough guy for Jesus, I just don’t want anyone to feel that they are alone in this.

With that said, I am extending an offer to pray for you and with you. If you want to praise God about something or just need a sincere ear to listen, this is my open invitation. This link takes you to my prayer blog where all submissions go directly to my email and are for my eyes only. Nothing is posted, there are no ads and I make absolutly no money by doing this. I am just a man who sincerly wants to pray for you and bless your life.

Be blessed and love well my friends

https://rawdisciple.com/prayer-requests/

Justin Ludwig

A Call to the Broken

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I was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to speak specifically to those of you who are feeling shattered….you know who you are. Whether it be addiction, mental illness, homelessness, hopelessness or the fact that every day you wake up and it feels like a curse… a burden or sick joke….another day. Just trying to maintain to get through to the next day and then the next….. just running out the clock on this life.
This is how I lived my life up until I finally let Christ into my heart and into my life. When I mention Jesus to people a lot of times they will respond just like I used to. When I would hear that name I would either fake interest and tune it out, scoff at these “christian fools” or sometimes react on feelings of flat out contempt, like they were judging me.
I am here to tell you that lie is keeping you bound in your hopelessness, just like it did me. I don’t speak this as some Christian who grew up in the church. In 2012 God saved me from myself….. i destroyed everything. I tried rehab, jail, mental wards, marriage, divorce, a career, homelessness…. the hopelessness was always there. When I finally stop fighting God and let Him in, everything changed. My life is more than I could have dreamed…..
I remember sitting in the alleys praying to a God for a normal life. I am here to tell you life is good on the other side! For some reason we believe the lie that keeps us shackled and bound. Don’t believe it…..please don’t believe it.
I ask that you call on the name of Jesus and let Him show you that I speak the Truth. There is hope brothers and sisters.
No matter what you did, what your struggle or what pain you have. Jesus can and will redeem you and bless you more than you can imagine…. but it’s up to you to choose Him.
If you would like to privately reach out to me if anything spoke to you, you can email me directly at RawDiscipleministries@gmail.com or, https://rawdisciple.com/prayer-requests/

No tricks or gimmicks. I just want you to experience the freedom that was given to me and that is waiting for you.

Justin Ludwig

Confession of a Dead Man 

I spent my whole life taking…..

I think that harsh truth fuels my urgency to love in action. I spent most of my life serving myself. With a combination of self loathing, whispers from the enemy, and a haze from whatever I happened to be addicted to at the time, I was able to to ignore what I was, a bad person. A man completely consumed by sin.

I lied, cheated and stole indiscriminately. It didn’t matter if it was my mother or a stranger, I would manipulate them for my selfish needs, and when manipulation didn’t work I would just take. I was emotionally and at times physically abusive. I lied constantly, cheated and schemed for a living and I was okay that….. this is the confession of a dead man.

Once Christ came into my life my eyes suddenly were opened to my condition. Suddenly my heart wept over the thoughts of the things I had done…. I still cringe at some of these memories that I used to be okay with… I cringe at the thought that I was even okay with it. I suddenly was unable to bear the sight of my selfishness, my destructiveness….my sinfulness.

These thoughts of my past didn’t and don’t make me feel ashamed, because I am brand new. All of a sudden I had a desire to love…. to go out of my way for strangers and a need to want to make people’s lives better, not worse.

This is what God does to every single heart He touches. God is love, and when He touches us, we can’t help but respond.

Be the blessing and love well, because when we love God is present. God bless

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
-1 John 4:12

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” -1 John 4:8

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone and the new is here.”- 2 Cor 5:17

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Only Jesus Satisfies 

I have chased a fix my whole life. From drugs, women to cutting myself, you name it. My whole life I was longing for something…. maybe some of you can relate. I didn’t feel right…  there was something missing and I just couldn’t satisfy that longing….. I didn’t know what it was that was missing, so I searched, and it damn near killed me

On my journey looking to fill an emptiness I didn’t understand, I discovered the Truth. And the truth is what I was longing for was God, and I didn’t even know it. In fact Jesus was the last thing I thought I wanted.

I have lived a crazy life; experienced the spectrum of emotions, highs and lows to a sickening degree and I am here to tell you that there is no better high….no experience greater than being in His presence and feeling His love. I’ve chased every fix and Jesus is the only thing that truly satisfies.

Don’t let the enemy deceive you… don’t let the illusion of worldly satisfaction distract you, it’s all a lie. Chase Jesus with everything you are and you will see for yourself.

He will complete you in ways you didn’t think possible.

“For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” -Ps 107:9

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Exiles of this Age

Holy Spirit impressed something on my heart I wanted to share with all of you. In Mark 5:1-20  Jesus comes across a cursed man. This man was possessed by not one demon, but a legion of demons. The hold that they had on this man was so great that he was written off by society. They exiled him to the tombs, hastily forgotten, helpless…hopeless. The villagers didn’t know what to do with the man. They tried everything they could think of to help him, then they resorted to simply trying to confine him. In their fear and desperation they chained the man down, but his demons were so powerful they snapped the chains like strings. Unable to deal with him, they exiled him to the tombs, to suffer in his torment.

Imagine this man, possessed by such darkness. The scripture says he howled into the night, cutting himself with stones…. The pain of this man… this man who fell victim to a darkness much stronger than himself.

Everyone was terrified of this man, Jesus sought this man out. Everyone wrote him off as a lost cause, Jesus saw a man who needed to be set free.

This is such an inspirational model for every one of us. We cannot turn a blind eye to the exiles of this age. We must not confine our ministry to that of our own comfort.

There is a large world out there, filled with so many people without hope. People broken, lost, hurting and alone. Those outside of our comfort zone that are howling in pain like this possessed man. How will they know the hope we have found unless we tell them?

The homeless man, the convict, the orphan…  Men and women bound and gagged in their sin, their pain or their circumstance.

I am not saying that you should head down some dark alley looking for lost souls. I am just saying that He wants to use you. Don’t be afraid or over think how what you should do. With a single smile or a word said from love, the Holy Spirit is capable of changing the heart and life of a person otherwise hopeless.

Jesus has called us not to stand on the sidelines, but to roll up our sleeves and love the unlovable. It is our responsibility to remember the forgotten and give hope to the hopeless, in Jesus name.

 

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matt 28:19

Written by: Justin Ludwig

We All Have a Story, Here’s Mine

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For as long as I can remember I was unhappy. No matter what I would do or what I would experience nothing ever seemed to take that empty hopeless feeling away. Which is probably the reason why I turned to drugs and alcohol at such a young age. I had found my place in this world, and that was tucked away, disconnected and simply trying to escape from how much it hurt to simply be alive. I won’t go into all of the details of how my life fell apart, but my addiction and self destruction cost me everything. Once my wife and kids left me I made a decision to handle the situation the only way I knew how. I was going to go on one last insane run and just hope that it killed me so I could just be done with all of the sadness.

I remember when I made that depressing decision. I said a prayer to a God I didn’t know and I told Him I didn’t expect Him to help me. I knew He felt the same way about me that I did. That it was my fault and I didn’t deserve saving. I remember thinking, “Who am I to ask for help, I deserve all of this.”

The days rolled on, chaos overlapping chaos until the pain and despair was all that I could see. I had receded into the shadows with no thought of making a change for the better… I had truly given up on myself and there was nothing stopping me from completing my lifelong run of self destruction.

Then one night like every other night I was driving. I looked in my rear view mirror to the twinkling of flashing red and blue lights. I received a 4th DUI which landed me with a felony on top of everything else that was going on in my life. I had no clue, but when that squad car door slammed shut, I had begun down a road that was going to change everything. That felony left me with two choices; I could do a year in state prison or I could go into some program called Teen Challenge.

Repeating similar patterns I decided to take the easy way out and go into the program. My plan was to do my time, play the part and get my felony taken care of so I could go back to my so called life. A month or so into this year long discipleship I was sitting in a worship service scanning my bible. I was just killing time more than anything else and my eyes focused on a single verse. I stared at it and unintentionally I muttered it outloud, “Be still, and know that I am God.” 

It was such a comforting statement….I just couldn’t understand why.

So I began to pay attention. I began to learn of a God so different from what I had thought I knew. A God not of condemnation but of neverending love and patience for me, for us. Not disgusted or angry with me like I once thought. Being a father myself, the love of a Father on the divine level really intrigued me and drew me in. Not being able to fathom how much God loves us opened my mind to the infinite.

Through that year with everything that I learned I was convinced. This sounds like a strange way of describing it, but I am a skeptical person by nature. The presence of the Holy Spirit was undeniable. But all of the study, teaching and experience that I was exposed to there showed me that our faith is not a fairy tale, that it’s real.

I graduated in 2013 and immediately got plugged into a local church which is my home church today. I joined a small group to get me plugged in, which evolved into me being the facilitator of an ongoing weekly small group so diverse and loving that my faith and love can’t help but continue to grow. In the last several years God had placed me and used me in ways I never would have dared dream.

I love to tell my story because looking back is when my faith is strengthened. When I am reminded that if all of those horrible,….just terrible, painful things didn’t happen to me, I never would have gotten to where I am at today. Each piece of the puzzle fitting perfectly into place. And when I recognize that God’s plans are so far beyond anything I can anticipate, understand or predict, I will be able to to remember…. to have the wisdom, “To simply be still, and know that He is God.”

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God” Ps.46:10

Written By: Justin Ludwig

Jesus Will Light Our Way

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The Spirit is always speaking to us, and if we are in tune with Him, the seemingly trivial events of our day to day life have the ability to reveal to us His truth. With that said I wanted to share a quick story with all of you.

Almost every morning when I get to work it is the same thing. I lock up my bike, I walk into my building and head to the bathroom to get myself situated to start my day. I open the door to the bathroom and walk in, expecting the motion sensor to see me as I enter and automatically turn the light on, and every morning I walk in, and that stupid light doesn’t turn on. I make it around 4 steps in complete darkness, waiting for something to happen, but nothing does. I guess I assume if I walk a little further or move enough the light will click on. Every morning it is not until either I simply turn towards the sensor, or reach out and almost touch it that the lights turn on and I am able to see.

I always laugh at myself and think,”Damn Justin, how many times are you going to do this? You know what will turn the light on, So just do that fool!” This is the Spirit’s almost daily reminder for me. Pointing out how ridiculous it is for me to stumble around in the darkness trying to figure things out for myself, instead of doing what I know will work, and that is simply to turn to Him to illuminate the way.

I smile every time I turn around and that light clicks on, because I have been guilty of this in my walk with Christ on way more than one occasion. I’m sure all of you can relate. We know what we are supposed to do, but for some reason, even though we know that God will help us and make things clear for us, we still sometimes insist on fumbling around in the dark, hoping the light will just turn on and show us what to do or where to go.

God is always right there, waiting for us to turn to Him, so He can shine in our lives.

Write this truth on the tablet of your heart. Accept His offer of love and guidance and seek Him in everything you do, especially in the trivial, and He will light your way.

 

“But in their distress they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him.”-2 Chronicles 15:4

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually.” -1 Chronicles 16:11

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” -Psalm 16:8

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” -James 1:5

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” -Psalm 119:105

 

Written by : Justin Ludwig

Victorious Surrender 

I fought my whole life…. I fought against an enemy that cannot be seen but that most are familiar with. An enemy that whispers into our ear that we are not good enough….. an enemy that won’t let us forget our mistakes…. an enemy that tells us that there is no hope for us. Being completely honest, I was losing this fight in a very real and devastating  way most of my life.

It wasn’t until I stopped fighting and surrendered that these lies lost their power over me and I felt something I had never experienced before…. hope.

Thank You Jesus setting me free! 

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Watch “Teen Challenge Creation Skit” on YouTube

I came across a video from when I was in the Teen Challenge on the Drama Team. We would go to churches and schools, perform and then share of the power of God in our hopeless situations to inspire hope.

Sharing our hope is what we are called to do…. no matter what it may look like.

Teen Challenge 2013 Drama Team- “Creation Skit” (Me)

Justin Ludwig

Addicts Aren’t Beyond Hope

I went to Teen Challenge in 2012 and my life has never been the same, all glory to Jesus! I was as bad as it gets for most of my life. I was strung out, full of hate and pain. Thanks to this ministry and the grace of God I have been redeemed! It was all God but Teen Challenge gave me the foundation in Christ that I needed to overcome a lifetime of addiction, hurt and brokenness. I tried everything from rehabs, jail and mental wards…. gutters, inpatient and outpatient programs… nothing worked.

I am walking taking proof that no one is too far gone, nobody is beyond redemption, and through Christ everyone has hope.

I encourage you to get involved, however that looks. Be blessed my brothers and sisters.

http://www.teenchallenge.org/

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

How Can I Serve You?

RawDiscipleMinistries, rawdisciple.com

Below are three links depending on why you would like to reach me. If you would like to contact me regarding something other than these please feel free to email me at rawdiscipleship4u@gmail.com

Prayer is power. I want to pray for you!!!

Speaker- Testimonies (Free)

Fundraising or Donation Letters

Ways to love in Action, Ministries and Service

Prayer is power. I want to pray for you!!!

Prayer is power. I want to pray for you!!!

https://rawdisciple.com/prayer-requests/

I have talked about the power of prayer on so many occasions. In my walk with Christ I have come to recognize and understand prayer as much more than some ritual or something we do to make ourselves feel better when we are out of options. Prayer is a time we are able come before God with boldness, openess and sincerity. We come before God with our hearts laid bare and with hope. Knowing that He hears us, that He loves us and that He can be trusted…. But if we were to pause and ask ourselves, “How much do we truly believe in the effectiveness of our prayers?

If each one of us were to take a fearless look at ourselves and ask, “Down to my core, do I truly trust that He hears me? Do I trust that my faith is for real, that God is absolutely, unequivocally a reality and when I pray it does make an actual difference?

I don’t pose this question to challenge, judge or question anybodys faith. Being completely raw and real I will be the first to admit that there have been times where the doubts have crept in…. I had been deceived by the enemy before, just as I am sure you have.

Prayer is such an intimate and powerful experience….. we cry out to Him in our anguish and we request the desires of our hearts! We sing His praises when He blesses us and we ask for guidance in this confusion we call life.

I am here to remind you that the power of prayer is for real. We are called to pray for each other and to do so often, in private and in action…..

In my journey with the Lord I have seen prayers being answered first hand. I have seen people’s hearts changed over night in dramatic ways. I was able to experience the gift of toungues, which I didn’t even believe in until He spoke trough me, all because my friend was praying for me. I have experienced freedom from unbreakable addictions and afflictions…. I could list countless experiences that have brought me to this firm knowledge that prayer does indeed work; both practically and in ways that cannot be explained by the secular world beyond coincidence.

What we must realize is that the doubts will come from time to time. The enemy is working night and day to mess with our head. To try and cast doubt about God, about ourselves and each other….this punk is an influencer of self destruction and hate and is always trying to fool us into doubting God!

I want everyone to know that prayer the most powerful thing we do. I want each of us to know, down to our core the reality of our faith and the real power prayer has. I want to offer my heart to you. Below is a link to my prayer page which allows you to send a prayer request or praise report.

I keep all prayers is complete confidence and if you put your email I will email you a heartfelt and faith filled prayer so you know how I am praying so you can see God working. No tricks, no advertising…. just love, in action. Please feel free to get specific with your prayers, because when we pray specifically, we will be able to see God work more clearly and our faith will grow!

If you feel Holy Spirit tugging at your heart, don’t hesitate. Let me intercede for you.

https://rawdisciple.com/prayer-requests/

Written by: Justin Ludwig


He replied l, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there and it will move.. Nothing is impossible for you.” -Matt 17:20

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16.

Our Message 

Why do I write?

For as long as I can remember my head has always gone so fast. Thought after thought and then thinking about those thoughts….. If you ever met me and spoke to me you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that my mind is constantly going… I talk extremely fast….some would say frantic.

I have so much to say and I just can’t seem to properly articulate my thoughts fast enough or eloquently enough to convey my true message. Sometimes my message gets lost in my stuttering….my tendency to talk fast can and does distort my messages from time to time. Other times I simply lose my train of thought. It is very frustrating to never be able to communicate the intricacy of an insight or to properly share an experience I have had with God.

I thank God for giving me the ability to write. I by no means think I am some talented writer. But what I do know is that through Holy Spirit’s help, I am able to clearly and concisely share with the world what Christ had done in my life. And the awesome thing is people seem to respond!

Honestly, I don’t fully get it because my grammar is atrocious and I make the most basic of errors. But through my writing, people are able to see beyond the flawed person that is Justin and are able to hear of a God so good, so powerful and loving. They are able to hear of a God that saved a man so broken…. so lost, through His amazing grace and overwhelming love. They are able to hear what I am actually trying to say and they are able to gain hope because God can be properly glorified because the work He has done in my life is truly a miracle.

I wonder if Paul felt this way? He was not a charismatic speaker… He did not have a commanding presence and he didn’t exude power when he spoke. Not to mention that this guy was most likely not an impressive looking man. He endured so many beatings, flogging and stonings for the sake of Christ that he must have looked very broken, frail and weak.

But when he put the pen to the paper and let Holy Spirit take control… this flawed, “unimpressive man” faded away and all that was left was his message.

Don’t ever let your shortcomings stifle your ministry. If you are not a speaker, then write. If you are not a writer, then pray. If you cannot pray then love. Your message will be heard… just let Him show you how to share it and then boldly and fearlessly do it.

 

“For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” -2 Cor 10:10

“Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? -Ex 4:10-11

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

 

Today’s the Day, Seize It

​Don’t let the time you wasted or the regrets you have cripple your future. 

           It’s not too late! 

You are not too far gone, and your better days are not behind you! You didn’t miss your chance! 

Today is the day… today is YOUR day to make something beautiful out of your life. Seize the moment;  live well, love hard and forgive often. Be the blessing and watch your life flourish.


“Brothers and sisters, I do not considermyself yet to have taken hold it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I  press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” -Phil 3:13-14

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Prayer is Power Y’all! I am ready to Pray for You

IF YOU BELIEVE IN PRAYER, PLEASE READ THIS!!

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

If you need prayer, fellowship, and/or need a brother in Christ to lean on, I am here for you.

I don’t just believe, but I know that as Christians, prayer is the most important, most powerful thing we do. To know someone is there, day or night when your heart is breaking that is ready to pray for you, praise with you, or simply be here to listen can and does change everything.

If you are not a Christian, it’s okay. I love you just as much as the Christian, the Muslim or out right haters of God. But wherever you are at, God loves you. I ask that if you feel that twinge in your stomach,  that pull from the Holy Spirit to reach out, don’t hesitate, don’t think, just respond.

Your prayers and/or messages come directly me, I share them with no one I urge you to leave your email address so I can email you my prayer, praise or comment so you know, without a doubt that you are loved, that you are important,  and that you are being prayed for. Your email will not be given to anyone, this is strickly for you, and for me.

Let me love you, let me pray for you.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

Written by Justin Ludwig

Hate me if You Want, I Love You

​​I was standing by a wall before work this morning and I saw a woman sitting behind my office building. She was sitting in the dirt putting on her make up and cleaning her wounds. It was obvious that she was strung out on meth and homeless. She was sitting by the door I was going to enter so when I approached the door I turned to her and smiled. I said good morning and offered her my sandwich. She kind of laughed at the offer so I didn’t know how to read her. I couldn’t tell if she was offended or just smoked out, so I started talking with her.

She was tripping on how I had just woken up and was starting my day. She was asking me if I had my huge coffee with 8 shots from starbucks and some babble I couldn’t quite make out. I could tell she was being condescending by the sneer on her face and the tone in her voice but it didn’t phase me one bit. I could tell she just thought I was some yuppie trying to take pity on someone I viewed as less than myself. I laughed and told her no, but I did drink about a gallon of coffee this morning. In that moment I saw a look in her eyes saying, “You yuppie idiot, you don’t have any clue.” I recognized the look because it is the look I had often throughout my years of wandering.

I smiled and told her that I was stuck on meth, booze and anything else I could get my hands on for most of my life and that I had been clean for 4 or 5 years. This statement got her attention and she responded quickly, “Do you have a line!?” I smiled and told her again, “Nah, I’ve been clean and I’m not going back”, and she replied, “Well if you ever change your mind come see me and I will hook you up.” I chuckled again and smiled. I looked into her eyes and said, “that won’t be happening but if you ever want some Jesus or some hope you come back here and see me again. I told her God loved her and told her to be safe and went up to work.

I came back down an hour later to smoke and she was still sitting back there with someone else. I smiled and said hi and then went to my phone to mind my own business while standing next to them. I heard her begin to make comments to her friend about how I loved Jesus. Not in an inspired way, this chick was talking some smack.

They were giggling away making their comments and what I noticed was that it wasn’t bothering me. I am sitting there listening to her but not responding because it would have done nothing but escalate a situation that didn’t need to be escalated and I felt joy. It was so noticeable to me because I don’t do well with being disrespected.

I began thinking with excitement, “they are hating on me for Jesus, this is so awesome!” Then I began to feel so grateful because this persecution was nothing compared to what our brothers and sisters are facing around the globe daily….

I didn’t inspire that girl or have the reaction that is always hoped for when I witness, but I was still blessed because I was obedient. Our conversation could click with her a month down the road, 10 years or never…. that is not for me to know. But I was and am filled with joy because I was obedient therefore loving.

I may not have brought her to Christ but I showed her that not every Christian is what she thought, and I showed her for a moment that there is an end to addiction, there is hope and there is a way out

Don’t worry about the outcome of your witness… focus on your motives.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Seek the Lost and Love Them

Holy Spirit impressed something on my heart I feel I should share with all of you. In Luke 8:26-39, Jesus had come across a cursed man. Possessed not by one demon, but a legion of demons.

The hold that these demons had on this man was so great that he was written off by society. Exiled to the tombs, hastily forgotten, helpless…hopeless. The villagers didn’t know what to do with the man and they tried everything they could think of. In desperation, they chained the man down, but his demons were so powerful they would just snap their chains….unable to deal with him, he was exiled to the tombs to suffer in his torment.

Everyone was terrified of this man….. Jesus sought this man out. Everyone wrote him off as a lost cause. Jesus saw a man who needed to be set free…..

This is such an inspirational model for every one of us. We cannot turn a blind eye to the exiles of this age. We must not confine our ministry to that of our own comfort. There is a large world out there, filled with so many people without hope. Broken, lost, hurting and alone. The people outside of our comfort zone, so different, or dare I say scary to us that are howling in pain like this possessed man.

In so much pain, consumed by their demons…. How will they know what we know, unless we tell them? The homeless man, the convict, the orphan…. Men and women bound and gagged in their sin, their pain or their circumstances.

I am not saying that we should head down some dark alley looking for lost souls. I am just saying that He wants to use us. We don’t need to be afraid or over think how God could possibly use us. With a single smile or a word said from love, Holy Spirit is capable of changing the heart and life of a person otherwise hopeless.
Jesus has called us not to stand on the sidelines, but to roll up our sleeves and love the unlovable. It is our responsibility to remember the forgotten and give hope to the hopeless, in Jesus name.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matt 28:19-20

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Shackles of Yesterday 

​ …….selfish

 Consumed by a lifestyle obsession     

         Destroyed my heart

Suddenly 

    Morbid thoughts take hold 

        Futile escaping the pain 

    Indescribable aching of the soul   

                 Freedom

        sorely needed 

                Unlikely 

     Aware previously

                but blinded 

          Contradictions

         Desperate to forget 

   Unwilling 

       Move on!

  Impossible…..

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Love, in Action 

​When I stare at the rain I cannot help but think of my old life.

Cold, alone, hurting and not a friend in the world. Something about rainy days made it so much more painful.

Sitting behind that dumpster, my head would drift back to days of my youth. Cuddled up next to my parents, safe and secure with the whole world before me…. My mind would drift back to this place of nostalgia and comfort no matter how hard I tried to push it away.

Why did I push away the happy memories you may ask…. it’s because I had lost all hope. 

I had no doubt in my mind that I had carved out my path long before and that I had blown it. My memories were nothing more than a taunting from a God that was giving me everything I deserved…. I knew that not a single soul gave a damn about me and my days of hope and love were long gone…. I had past the point of no return.

I didn’t know that people cared…. I didn’t know that God loved me and that my life was not over… that I had hope.

There is a whole world of people in this exact same prison…. lost in the illusion that not a soul on this planet gives a crap about them.

They need to know they are loved, by God and by us, but they will not know this if we don’t tell them.

I talk about this often because I will never forget that place…. I talk about it often because the smallest gesture, the smallest act of love really can change everything.

We don’t need to worry about what to say to the broken because it really doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that our love is sincere for these people. That love is what they will see and it will speak to their hearts, I promise you that. Even if you don’t get the response you are hoping for, you can know that right in that moment you showed them that they have not been forgotten, that they are loved.

My prayer for all of us is that our eyes will be open, are hearts filled with love and that the Spirit’s voice will be heard.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Love in the Darkness 

​Drowning in a sea of faces 

      Breathing 

           suffocating

              Merely surviving

  …… to what end!?

 one of a billion helpless souls 

            breath, fear, doomed 

        Resides 

  …….festers to the final breath 

      in the silence I welcome the end 

       My eyes close…..

   they open facing an angel 

    a million questions 

       She smiled

    all answered….

My savior 

    A million more…..

           …those can wait 

                   for I feel

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012 (Mel Inspiration #2B)

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

I want to Pray for You, Use Me!

​IF YOU BELIEVE IN PRAYER, PLEASE READ THIS!!

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

If you need prayer, fellowship, and/or need a brother in Christ to lean on, I am here for you. 

I don’t just believe, but I know that as Christians, prayer is the most important, most powerful thing we do. To know someone is there, day or night when your heart is breaking that is ready to pray for you, praise with you, or simply be here to listen can and does change everything.

If you are not a Christian, it’s okay. I love you just as much as the Christian, the Muslim or out right haters of God. But wherever you are at, God loves you. I ask that if you feel that twinge in your stomach,  that pull from the Holy Spirit to reach out, don’t hesitate, don’t think, just respond.

Your prayers and/or messages come directly me, I share them with no one I urge you to leave your email address so I can email you my prayer, praise or comment so you know, without a doubt that you are loved, that you are important,  and that you are being prayed for. Your email will not be given to anyone, this is strickly for you, and for me.

Let me love you, let me pray for you.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

Written by Justin Ludwig 

Trust Him, No Matter What 

​I remember the drive up to Teen Challenge, it was July 19th 2012. I was a man at the end of my rope. My addiction and self destruction had taken everything from me. 

Once my wife took my kids and split instead of getting sober, I decided to give up. I dove headfirst into my self destruction until it finally put myself out of my misery….. but I just wouldn’t die.

With the sickening amount of drugs, alcohol and horrible decisions… all that happened was the pain got worse…. I just couldn’t die.

But the pain, oh the pain!! I cannot put into words. I would begin screaming in agony at random because the grief, sorrow and regret was just too intense…. I kid you not.

All around me, my friends were dying, going down for murder…. the life of “partying” was long gone….. but my heart continued to beat.

God showed up in handcuffs, and I didn’t even know it. God saved me by giving me a felony and sent me to a year long discipleship. At the time I had no idea He was working. It wasn’t until the third month did His plan begin to become clear.

Have faith my brothers and sisters. In your pain, in your struggles and your impossible circumstances, God is working on something. Every horrible thing that happened to me was crucial to get me where I am. I speak of what I know, and I know that God can be trusted.

Trust His plan, no matter what

He is trustworthy, I promise. 

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

That Moment

​Closest comparison 

  memories from my past

Youth nostalgia

    friction giving birth 

      Aware or not

 Reaction unseen 

       But undeniably felt 

Unexpected only once 

    It’s power never diminished

superficially a graze

 A slightest touch

   Creating it

      …..it

 futility but infinitely

       searching for the words

Those searching 

         never find

  The search a waste

         A true waste

   I’m overrun by it

      ……so fragile

       so amazing

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012 (Mel Inspired)

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Scream Love 

​The love and grace of God is my story. I am a follower of Christ and couldn’t be prouder to say that. If you knew my story you would understand why I am so grateful to call myself a christian. 

The topic of Christ is a touchy one for some. I get that, and I can respect it. I recognize there is such a stigma with christianity and it is pushing the non believer further away from christians. Non believers seem to just expect judgment, hypocrisy, hatered, or dare I say, straight ridiculousness right off the bat… and I am sorry to have to admit it, but I can’t blame them… and it’s up to us to change that.

I share often, but only because  it’s so important to me.  There’s a punk song that I think of often, that repeats “I gotta keep screaming,  til my voice is heard.”  And what I, what we as christians are, or should  be screaming, is love, hope and grace. We/I are screaming that if you allow Him…. He will change you from the inside out, and you will be blessed in ways you never dared dream. 

There is nothing I can I say to convince a non believer that there is a God, and I accept that. My heart breaks for those who mock or will never encounter the tangible love of God. To those of you, all I can say, from an honest and sincere heart is…… God is real, and I pray that you will have that encounter with Him.
Written by: Justin Ludwig 

You Needed Prayer, Here I Am 

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

 ​

Life sucks sometimes… It hurts,  it’s unfair, we get afraid, angry or downright hateful or just can’t let go. I want to invite you to let me pray for you. You don’t have to be a Christian, you don’t have to be anything.

The support of someone who genuinely cares can make all the difference. I am offering a word of hope and a blessing over your life, I’m not looking to convert anyone 🙂 

 If even for a second, you felt that twinge to act on this, please click the link and let me lift you up.  No tricks, no strings, no ads or mailing lists. Just love and hope.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

We Love You, Right Where You’re At

​Why is it such an uncomfortable topic, Christianity? 

I think through a lifetime of bad experiences, we have all encountered christians that twist our faith into something hateful or full of judgment. 

Time and time again we see christians say one thing, and then do another. Who speak of love and then in the same breathe speak judgment or hate…… I want you to know, there is a whole world of us. Christians who love you, right where you are at. Whether you are an atheist, agnostic, Muslim, democrat or a republican, we love you, truly and sincerely. There is a world full of Christians who know that we are not better than you. We don’t judge you, we don’t look down or condemn you. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I say this proudly because Christ is love, Christ is unity. And that is a beautiful thing.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

We All Need Prayer

We all need someone to intercede for us. We need someone who loves us and who wants to pray for us and who we can sing His praises to.

Unity and love is key in the body of Christ. If the Spirit is drawing you, click on the link and let me pray for you. I am involved in no marketing whatsoever and I have no ulterior motives. 

I have a sincere enthusiasm to watch the Spirit work, and encourage you to take part 

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

Why God Excites Me 

​People ask me, “Why do I get so excited about God”, I can only smile at what flows through my mind.

I get excited about God for saving me from a life of addiction. From a life of self loathing, hatred and constant pain. I get excited about God because He loves me, every part if me and always will. He has saved me from an eternity of suffering and punishment, from hell on earth and He has saved me from myself….

We read of who He is in the scriptures and we believe. We believe the stories, the prophecies and the promises, but sometimes we can have the tendency to view God as a God of the past, or a God of the future. But the truth is,”God is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb 13:8) Which means He is alive and active today, just like in the days of the Apostles and that is an awesome exciting thing!  I am excited because I have experienced His “impossible” works, first hand and I have witnessed things that cannot be denied. 

I get excited because God is real! His power and His presence is real and He not only wants to work in our lives, but He wants to use us to bless others and to change the world through love, one person at a time.

God is hope, God is love, God is good. 

He is alive and active and I love it! 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

God Will Cover the Impossible, Just Get Back Up

​It is so easy to become overwhelmed by our situation. It is so easy for the burdens of our trials, the shackles of our shortcomings, or the illusion of hopelessness to blanket us.

  I have seen and experienced many amazing things with and from God. I have been touched by God in ways that changed everything….. I have felt His power. But to be honest,  I still catch myself at times believing that God is not enough.

With the pain of loss, the continuous consequences of past sins crashing over me day after day, year after year, I sometimes find myself feeling defeated. I find myself suddenly feeling out of control. So tired of trying to fight the good fight that I can’t seem to summon the strength, the drive, or desire to even want to stand up again and keep going. These feelings of doubt and defeat well up in me more often than I care to admit. And when they do, I feel heavy, I feel flooded with a hopeless feeling that things won’t work out…. that I am kidding myself and I need to just give up. This morning was one of those mornings, and without asking Him for clarity, He presented me with a passage.

“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” – John 5:1-9

This man was blinded by his situation. This man was consumed by his very real problems and his very real pain. I think it is safe to say we have all tasted a portion of what this man lived up until this encounter at some point in our lives.

“I have wasted my entire life, I don’t know any other way… I can’t change”, “You don’t understand how hard it is for me, there is no happy ending for me, I deserve this!”…., “I just can’t do it. I am tired of hoping, I am tired of fighting… I  give up.”

The Spirit smacked me I’m the face this morning with this truth. When Jesus asks this man, “Do you want to get better”, the invalid could only reply with why he couldn’t get better. All the invalid could see was the hopelessness of his situation. All he could see was the impossibility of his healing, of change in his situation.

In all of this man’s disbelief Jesus met him. In the incredibly painful, hopeless life that this man lived, Jesus has but two words for him, “Get up!”

It doesn’t matter if we cannot see any hope in our situation. In a life broken beyond repair, Jesus doesn’t ask us to fix it, to do better,  or to try harder. He simply wants us to trust Him enough to stand back up, so He can do the impossible for us. 

Don’t lose heart in your situation, just stand back up and keep following Him. And when you do, I promise you, He will come through for You, probably in a way you never saw coming.

He is trustworthy, He is good and He is capable. My prayer is that every one of us will never forget that.

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” -2 Thess 3:5

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Surrender 

​Greatest Enemy 

             oneself 

      sickening irony 

       Its one in the same 

           the problem 

             the solution 

        infuriating cycle 

               Halt the cycle!

       Reality, what is it

   Unbelievably painful 

         Life’s Deal

    Futile winning

      …… simply procrastinating

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Alone, I am Not

​Unexplainable bond 

    Shared by few 

     Fortunately 

  Appreciated presently 

    Skeptical Still 

  Bond or blood 

     A strong will 

    Suffers undeservingly 

       Wrong or right 

 Alone I’m not 

       Proven failure 

            Repetition  ensues  

 Seeing what is yet unseen 

    Faith 

     Support 

 Forgiveness 

   Deserved?

   …. Not a chance 

            Yet…..

 Remarkably 

 Previously seen in solitude 

       Emerges for some….yet

 Must be understood 

          Support’s the key 

 I hold the key I once shunned 

     A lone drive 

       Long awaited hope 

                Awakens in the depths 

  Differing for all 

          Personally 

   Abandonment of ignorance 

Construction been underway 

     To fill the void 

              Myself 

  …..Unimportant 

            Support never ending

      Awoke a dormant urge 

 A sudden awakening 

            Waste 

  No more 

     Tomorrow is lost 

 Voyage commences instantly 

             Bottom line

        Those never halting 

     Inspire something 

  Unfamiliar situation 

      Alone I’m not 

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Demons Within

​open uncertainty

 coarse

         direction?

quite the contrary

  simple outcome

         what!?

bowing to my demons

     ……they’re lurking       

    stagnant and many

thirsting, craving, lusting

   Famished for pain

 Chaos 

Self inflicted annihalation 

  …no reasoning

     motives unclear

delving into the abyss

shall I emerge victorious?

 …..I  am uncertain

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Trapped in the Cycle,  Desperate for Freedom 

Disgusted by Surroundings

         Consumed by Ignorance 

 A lusting of self destruction 

  Dominating states of mind 

         Realization is needed!

      Fates intertwined

       ….. Self Annihilation

    Nauseating Irony 

  Flourishing  on Destruction

     The tragedy,  it’s deserved

        as fair as it gets

   destination?

        Quite obvious

  Yet we remaining happily oblivious 

       Once clarity takes hold

            ……. too late

         Tragic 

               Deserved

Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Lost in Darkness 

​Empty

    she got it 

        like so many

or claimed to

    darkness

        silent to smoke

    ending my life

          methodically

    intricately

…. slowley

the calls stopped

        they call 

    some call

I can’t answer!

    fear

of what?

     Being saved

being loved

    saved from my hell

    how sick

once a child’s boast

    now his cancer

those who know me

  assumptions run rampant

…… yet wrong

I feel it growing

        deep from within

    won’t delve deeper

        wont!!

    those who know, know

Disgusted by Surroundings

         Consumed by Ignorance 

 A lusting of self destruction 

  Dominating states of mind 

         Realization is needed!

      Fates intertwined

       ….. Self Annihilation

    Nauseating Irony 

  Flourishing  on Destruction

     The tragedy,  it’s deserved

        as fair as it gets

   destination?

        Quite obvious

  Yet we remaining happily oblivious 

       Once clarity takes hold

            ……. too late

         Tragic 

               Deserved

  Disgusted by Surroundings

         Consumed by Ignorance 

 A lusting of self destruction 

  Dominating states of mind 

         Realization is needed!

      Fates intertwined

       ….. Self Annihilation

    Nauseating Irony 

  Flourishing  on Destruction

     The tragedy,  it’s deserved

        as fair as it gets

   destination?

        Quite obvious

  Yet we remaining happily oblivious 

       Once clarity takes hold

            ……. too late

         Tragic 

               Deserved

Written by: Justin Ludwig  November 14 2011.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

When Footholds Dominate 

Despair so malignant

          doomed by those I love

        Responsibility
Selfishness infiltrating

           BLITZKRIEG!!!!!!

Inwardly overrunning an already exhausted defense

Breath labored
.. yet collected

Alternative means
merely seeking
..cryptic solace
Slower demise……
I don’t fucking know
I can’t take much…….more

I close my eyes
……waiting for the tide to come in

Wash me away……


Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14


Weight of Regret

175 pulling 1000

      Why
  Regret     Self-loathing
  All bets called in
    It can’t be covered
    ……what to do
    Start now
Hurt
      Pain
           Misery
                My juice
       my price
      For giving up heaven
           Not yours
    Mine
        Unique    Special
  One of those miracles
  So bright…..
       ….So bright
At least
     I punish myself
 It’s gone before you see what you had.    
           Burned in your retina
   then you see
         …….what you lost

Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Drowning in Sin’s Cycle

​Gasping for life

    silent battle

    the dead of the end

         the beginning again

the past screams

    again and again

muted shouts fill life

     self incarceration

        Trapped

Stifling freedom constricts me

    guilt

        Shame

Labels too shallow

    too much to indulge

    simmering it seems

             it seems

    …waiting

        for a cataclysmic event

    but it passed

long long ago … even if yesterday

    tomorrow

        another yesterday


Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Lost Love

Where’d she go?

Choking on my heart

           would cut it out

Hand me the knife…..

              ….Wait

I believe it’s still in my back

 guilt trips

Woes me

                 Fuck you

I only blame me

    same as you

Rest easy

         Don’t trip

     Still punishing myself

Don’t need your help

Seriously…..

Why do you hate me so?

did all the love dissolve away ?

Producing a spiteful residue

   If you recall

Though it seems you forgot

      Loyalty

          Love

         pain

           …….ME

If change was with ease

…..I  wouldn’t have lost my one

I can’t help who I am

    I tried for you

I failed.

……   you gotta set me free

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Glance back, Gaze Forward 

Gazing, the wreckage

        its entirety       

awestricking   Sickening

  amazing

how much I lost on my journey

    …..to right here

bedrock is nowhere left to hide

      the destruction

      easily avoided

looking back

  helpless

  I’ve…

          ……stopped?

       folding the fight

          all remaining

reality checks

                 never ending

          stifling

humbling

my journey

saved from myself

is just beginning

       if……

  

Written by: Justin Ludwig December 9, 2011.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

What Happened

Last call
     Heard from the virgin ears of a lush.    
           Tomorrow
   Somehow became today
            what happened?
         Defecation
    on your dreams
       your life
         your goddamn soul
   what happened?
      fuck poetic phrases
          I blew it
   …..now I wallow
        Not in pity
          In hate
            Self despair
        it’s tough, no fronting
    pointing the finger
… it’s always a suicidal finger
     at least…..
           at least
   I punish myself
I blew it
     …all of it

Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Running Out of Chances

Running Out of Chances

Soulless

       Soulless!!

           breath
I am dying too slow!!
     …my mind’s going faster….
blap blap
that’s  all I think
Always
               ALWAYS!!
tragedy
I think not
     I had all and every chance
I shit on it
oblivious
self deception
             no more
Mary echos
“you won’t come back one of these times”
It’s terrifying
     Real
          Here
Do I quit
Fuck You, Never

Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Constant Review

  Gazing the wreckage
            its entirety      
awestricking      Sickening
   amazing
how much I lost on my journey
        …..to right here
bedrock is nowhere left to hide
          the destruction
          easily avoided
looking back
   helpless
      I’ve…
              ……stopped?
           folding the fight
              all remaining
     reality checks
                     never ending
              stifling
humbling
my journey
saved from myself
is just beginning
if……

  
Written by: Justin Ludwig December 9,2011.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

My Journey into Madness

image

I pushed my mind past the brink, this was the journey I took into madness.

I hadn’t slept. Your mind hits a point when you push it too far. It fractures and reality becomes something else. In all of my years of pushing my mind and my body to this point I always said, “As long as you know you are crazy, you’re fine. Its when you think your fine that you’re in trouble .
Another morning, like the countless ones I have experienced. I hadn’t slept in days. I don’t know the time but it was early, I remember because it was dark, but the birds were beginning to chirp. I despised those birds. I am not really sure why, perhaps because it was the sound of a new day…..another day.
I walked into my kitchen and there he was. A man sitting in the corner. Across the kitchen next to the trash can was a man with his knees tucked under his chin. He was in a drab white jumpsuit of sorts. I didn’t know what to think, “You’re tripping Justin, you haven’t slept.
No stranger to hallucinations. When you push your mind past the brink, only then can you truly understand how delicate and fragile the mind is.
I began to cook an egg. I wasn’t hungry but I wasn’t sure the last time I had eaten and I was feeling quite drained.
He just sat there, he didn’t speak. I ate my egg quickly directly off the pan. It burned my hand but I didn’t register it because something was wrong. There was a man on my floor. I walked past him without looking him in the eye. I stepped past him and walked into my room and closed the door.
Unable to process this peculiar turn of events I suddenly realized that there were two people in my room. Females, both of them. I didn’t want them to know that I saw them. At this moment I realized that I was to the brink. At the threshold of losing complete control. I remember thinking, don’t talk to them. If I acknowledge them then that will make them real.

“Keep it together Justin, you haven’t slept .”

I was sitting there cross legged on the floor, listening to what they were saying. Based on their dialog it seemed as if they were nurses. They were studying my behavior, just like the many mental health professionals I had encountered in my life so many times.
Up until this point my experience had kept me just sane enough to know I’ve was tripping. The two women who continued to talk amongst themselves, and then something happened. Something that took a full on break from reality and made it terrifying….. the nurse told me to do something.

To those that don’t know, if you hear voices you are in trouble. If those voices begin telling you what to do, you are in serious trouble.

(This portion of my journey that should go here is unknown to me. It could have been 5 minutes or 2 days, I just can’t remember)

Journey continues…

Such confusion and awareness at the same time. Only six days and it had begun 2 days prior. I walked to the kitchen, God it used to be my home… no more. But this day was a different familiarity. I glance and she’s there, I don’t know who she is but I’ve seen her kind many times… too many times. I ignore her except for the occasional smirk. it can’t be helped, she’s funny. And I feel her fear,I walked away muttering to myself. Unaware that my journey to hell is just beginning. But to this day, I’m still doubting the outcome. Was my mind collapsing or expanding. Flash back to fast forward. I count six. I laugh and when I do I realized again I am talking to myself. FUCK!!! I scold myself I grab the phone feeling betrayed, confused and desperate. Anyone living the life knows that’s a treacherous combo and yet I am numb to it.
My pops gets back to the house and by this time I realize that my head is dropping fast. Not physically, I mean dropping off the grid. I thing since of my experience I got a fighting chance at…. surviving it. Rookie mistake.

My wife called and I started talking. So much pain, happiness, love I felt when that phone rang. I didn’t question it at the time, trying to ignore all the people, all the movement, all the suspicion. All I remember is me pleading to see my kids and “you keep talking”, and “i’ll think about it” were the only responses given. Most of all throughout the entire experience I remember “Bye” no love… no hope.
I glanced at my St. Jude pulsating to different tints and colors. At this point I’m not expecting of my hallucination or rejecting. I am just mesmerized.
In hindsight, this is when I lost control. Things stopped being funny to myself. Looking back they were never funny to begin with. They were me laughing at the wind and my mind breaking. The severity of my condition was exposed. After being convinced my father had brought the mental hospital to the house and ranting to my mother of this fact. I was out back smoking a cigarette and I saw it. A sign on the neighbor’s house. I couldn’t read it clearly but it was clearly there. My last ounce of experience I call my dad, explain somethings wrong and had him look to see if the sign was in fact there or i’ve lost my mind. I walked up to the wall with him slowly. My dad in front of me and as soon as I approached the wall the signs disappeared right before my eyes. I gasped. I then began to stumble back and as I did a couple feet, the sign became as vivid and tangible as life again.
“HOLY SHIT!!!” I laugh to myself. “Something is wrong pops”. I described my visions, inciting incase I lost consciousness to let the medics or whoever know. He yelled I’m not sure what. I can guess though. He did say trip in the room so I went. See weh I’ve lost my mind these 10 to 15 times this year I’m not confrontational… I’m scared and docile. I closed the door to my room and starting talking…They were there… at the time. i say to myself “ Ride it out man”, “ enjoy the trip” Lying to myself cause I was fucking terrified./ But I had to maintain. It got a little foggy and I was off in my delusion. I remember thinking and analyzing as I drifted further away. Not to sleeping, far from it. I was conversing with strangers, families, myself. I remember green highways, but only looking like freeways like the commercials I have seen for Tron.
But I stopped several times and explored.

It’s hard to place them chronologically or even put into words. But they happened then.
I was in a waiting room but it was a smoke screen. I just know there was no way out. Either a black diamond or a fat guy blocking the exit. The only other door led in. I opened it once and there was so much darkness I felt so humiliated when it opened. I didn’t open it again. I went somewhere else. I let go and I was gone. I just be I’m running out of return trips.

The confusion I recall from the first time is now recognized while it’s happening. But I lost control. I felt like I didn’t know who I was and the time bouncing from patient, to inmate to etc. Anybody either with no control or shut down. Horrible things I heard that made me jump from my seat but not wake me from my psychosis. At one point for a brief second I was a catatonic in Alabama or some southern state and a hateful woman was telling me “ She saw me do it, and that I was going to pay” She said that I touched a child and when I felt the gate it made me scream. You see molesters, rapists, to me, they deserve to die more painfully than any murderer. I thought my soul might be set in a mental petophile. I thanked God when my mind raced away again.

Written by: Justin Ludwig October 2011

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14
Image from: http://static.tumblr.com/5a84fb5d87ad67ad472547869fa57d3f/fhumo5v/COhn91pu0/tumblr_static_93ieedl00w84g48k0kwggwow4.jpg

Consumed

Consumed

Origin of current misery
        Ignorance
Fueled by youth
         curiosity commences
       Enticing  experimentation
Gradual escalation
      Simply dismissed
  Daily procrastination
      Sudden loss of control
             repercussions
               —-
Self isolation and mutilation
  Unimaginable  decimation
       aware yet powerless
       Solution
grasp or release – Dwell or accept
            change or die

Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

07: Living Merely Memories

07: Living Merely Memories

A time
    A time before this
A distant memory
    no longer reasonable
but a faded memory
they turn slowly
just for an instant
    then vanish
only echoes in my head
how could they
    why would they
wish it away
strange feeling
    ashamed… humbled
despair
0f what some ask   
    my life gone wrong
what I call hell
for my kids
    i must prevail

Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

:Nothing Unanswered

Nothing Unanswered

        hurts to breathe

to move is worse

             like a victim of a curse

all alone

no way out

            fuck it all I want to die

Problem is my kids would cry

then ask mommy why did daddy die

He was sick, she would sigh

That’s the reason I can’t die

 Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Unyieldingly Heartache

: Unyieldingly Heartache

Uncertain

        what’s to come

   paralyzed in the past

               when devil ran rampant

hurt those few

                          the ones I love

…..my eyes  opened just in time to see everything slip away

I’ll never forget……

              they  drove away taking my heart with them

         no one to blame except me……

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Blinding Hindsight

: Blinding Hindsight

there was a time I had it all

         now when I think, it makes me bawl

                          I had my dream

              I pissed away

              blind until it was too late

              Now all I have is self hate

              how can this have become my fate

                              she was the one

                               I let her slip

                                slip away

 Frozen in time

          ….. in time I cannot forget the pain

                          that painful day

I had to watch her, drive away

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Solo Mutiny

:Solo Mutiny

Enemy infiltration

a double agent out for blood

               silently

                     methodically

                        it destroys the enemy

          if seen it will be too late

              conniving

                        manipulating

                             consuming with bloodlust

knowledge of his presence

………seen you cannot be stopped

                            cannibalism to a sickening degree

        Welcome to me, a puppet master

                               sadistically pulling the strings

every puppet dances

                   They dance with such shame, remorse and self-loathing

                                             two choices

               cut the strings and run or just dance the dance

Those that dance free…… we envy those few

For we still dance

Just not like you

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012, when sin, darkness and addiction consumed me.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Purified by Pain

:Purified by Pain

Unwavering conflict

        confusion

birth to a personal enlightenment

    a new perspective

       achieved only in the darkness

hiding in the wasted soul

Obvious

while the devil smirkes

I sit in agony

    FOR he took my life from me

now I remain

           Bound and gagged

Silent

          darkness

this is what I see

everything clear

What was, is or ever will be

all of it means nothing

        I’m helplessly shackled

remain bound

Until I’m not anymore

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig  between 1999-2012, when sin, darkness and addiction consumed me.

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Delayed Sight Highlighting

    Delayed Sight Highlighting

Until it’s too late

           we the few won’t see

           why the things happen to me

All my gems were sold for free

Again And again

              in a frantic search

for those to blame

a flash

             Suddenly all I feel is shame

     confused at first

Now I, we

      the one to blame

              My God….. its me

 

Written by:  Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012

I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14

Untitled drawing.pngThere are countless people battling with addictions and other sin issues. People who desperately need Christ to set them free from the bondage that has consumed their lives. Perhaps someone is coming to mind right now…. perhaps it’s you. 

Teen Challenge is a one year christian discipleship that takes in people of all ages who have been overtaken by their sin, addiction or other struggles. They have centers all over the world and they know that Christ is the solution to the drug and/or addiction epidemic.

If you know someone, pass it on. If you are battling yourself, take a look. If you feel led, you can donate through the link as well.

I went to Teen Challenge in 2012 and my life has never been the same, all glory to Jesus! I was as bad as it gets for most of my life. I was strung out, full of hate and pain. Thanks to this ministry and the grace of God I have been redeemed! It was all God but Teen Challenge gave me the foundation in Christ that I needed to overcome a lifetime of addiction, hurt and brokeness. I tried everything from rehabs, jail and mental wards…. gutters, inpatient and out patient programs… nothing worked.

I am walking taking proof that no one is too far gone, nobody is beyond redemption, and through Christ everyone has hope.

I encourage you to get involved, however that looks. Be blessed my brothers and sisters. 

http://www.teenchallenge.org/

Stop Doubting the power of God

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I have so much love and devotion to God. The Holy Spirit has blessed me with the eyes to see His hand In my past, present and future. … but that doesn’t always stop my demons and pain from reminding me that the past is not forgotten.
Some days… I wake up overwhelmed by my demons.  Demons whispering in my ear that I am kidding myself. When feelings of cutting myself become such a “perfect solution.” When I desire death with all my heart and am overwhelmed by hate…

Some may ask, where the hell is Jesus in all of this?

When I have the overwhelming urge to drag a blade across my body…. He is there…. When I am convinced I am kidding myself about God, myself and my hope…. He is there…. and when I crave the silence of the grave because all I feel is sadness, pain and anger, He is there.

There is so much pain in this life. We all have our burdens to bear; death, loss, fear, uncertainty, pain, hate, selfishness, addiction, or even the overwhelming desire to destroy ourselves.
I share this raw and honest portrayal of my burdens for one reason……

Stop!!!!!

Stop believing the lie that you are too far gone… Stop pitying yourself because “there is no way anyone understands why it is so hard for me!”

When you  feel so horrible that you feel you cannot take another breath,  and you feel that Jesus may be able to help that other person, but not mu stuff… not me, because my situation is different.  Stop!!!!

These lies not only put God in a box, limiting what You will let Him do for you, with you and most importantly through You.

This “Sunday School” mentality of who people think God is or who He should be must stop….  it as no place in the kingdom of God.

Stop disqualified yourself as the exception and be empowered that God Almighty has your back and won’t leave you hanging.

His ways are so different than what we think they should be.

God has saved so many, so much worse…. so far gone, so hopeless.  Stop thinking or believing that you are different. You are not different, we are all the same…… let Him set You free….. daily.

God comes through, always…. God never lies,  and God will see You through to the very end.

You are not different, we are the same, and He will help you, me and every single person who truly wants His help.

He said “Be still and know that I am God” -Ps 46:10

“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” -Job 23:10

“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah  43:2

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”-Phil 4:6-7

“He will not let your foot slip-He who watches over you will not slumber -Psalm” 121:3

“For my thoughts are not Your thoughts, neither are Your ways my ways,”declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth,so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah:55:8-9

Justin Ludwig

 

Photo from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/299137600220402669/

 

 

 

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As soon as I come to
The familiar dance
Heavy  dread
Instant review
The deafening silence
Awakening doubt
So overwhelming
….. I don’t dare cry out
What has changed, besides the day
…… Nothing
it’s just his way
Stirring the pot
Every chance
Every opportunity
Whispering so eerily
“No, He’s not”
You’re kidding yourself
I know who you are
They’ll all go away
I told you…..
so far
The suffocating reminder
The sickening fact
You’re all alone
You might  as well turn back
First chance their given
One screw up you’ll do
Pack up your shit
I can’t deal with you.
Thoughts of these things, and so many more
Consuming my hope
Affecting my core
If I didn’t know better
I’d think it was me
Whispering the lie
Who are you kidding, you’ll never be free
A tear rolls down
Feelings of utter defeat
Until He reminds me, just trust Me
And then you’ll see

Justin Ludwig

 

Photo by: Google Images