Additional pictures after testimony
4365 cdd A Lighthouse
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 18 Number 135
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Hello, my name is Brandon Bower, the Founder and Director of The Lighthouse: A Biblical Life Recovery Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This is my testimony. I was the firstborn of four children. I grew up as a PK (Preacher’s Kid). I loved the Lord but found myself running as fast as I could from doing His will.
My testimony starts with my parents. They are the best there could be, and as a result of my birth, they made a commitment to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They didn’t want to raise their children the way they were raised, with no Christian anchor and no belief in Jesus Christ.
When my dad and mom received Jesus, it was all or nothing. They chose to go all the way with Christ. My dad went to Bible College to study to be a minister, and when I was 10 years old, we moved to Chicago, where Dad became the pastor of Crawford Bible Church. We were a family that grew up in the church, and every time the doors were open, we were there. It was a small church, and much of the work was left to our family. I grew to resent being a PK because I had to cut the grass, shovel the sidewalks, and fold bulletins every Sunday. I was compliant and did what I was told, but resentment grew in my heart.
Then I went to college. It was time to spread my wings and experience everything I had been told was taboo. I chose to become rebellious to the things of the Lord to the point of getting kicked out of Bible College, and I ran headlong into altercations with the law. I jumped around to several colleges, and finally, three colleges later, something clicked, and a light was lit in my heart.
You see, my name Brandon means “A Lighthouse.” I always dreamed when I was young of doing something for Jesus as a lighthouse. I just didn’t know what.
Now the light of Jesus took hold of me, and I began to understand what Dad and Mom had been trying to tell me-that the foolishness of this world was empty and that I was heading down a slippery path, a path that leads many to hell.
Now attending my fourth college, with a new understanding of Christ’s work in my life and with a new direction and light in my life, I was determined to fulfill the Lord’s will. Having struggled with addiction, I was led by the Lord to become a substance abuse counselor. Soon after, I met my wife Elizabeth. We now have three children: Braydon 12, Sawyer 10, and Isabelle 8. I graduated college with my Masters in Biblical Counseling and with great enthusiasm to help anyone who would want to help themselves — even if they didn’t know it yet!
In one of my first jobs after graduating, I was told upon being hired that being a Christian was an asset. Once I took the job, I learned that I couldn’t use my Bible. Nor could I speak the name of Jesus. Another job instructed me to use the term “higher power” and stay within the scope of their secular addiction program. I tried to work there but kept getting in trouble because when Jesus has radically changed your life, it isn’t something that you can be quiet about! Every part of my being screams Jesus! I quickly learned that I could no longer work there under these imposed Jesus restrictions.
Then the Lord directed me soon after to start a solidly biblical rehabilitation program for HIM. My question to the Lord in prayer was, “How do I do this?” and He led me every step of the way. I soon mentioned this plan to my pastor, who has been very supportive, and he introduced me to a lawyer, who set up our 501(c)(3) ministry to take donations. Before I knew it, “A Biblical Life Recovery Center” was born, and it didn’t cost us anything. Then we prayed for a building. Soon after, I was contacted by a man who had just recently renovated a house. He wanted it used for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. We had no money, just the vision the Lord gave us. I explained this to this gentleman, and he gave us the house. We officially began our ministry in 2014, opened our first Life Recovery Home in 2016, and currently have every bed filled in our Life Recovery Home!
Each of the men in our transitional home must have jobs, we hold Bible studies two days a week, they meet with a personal mentor weekly for discipleship, and they are required to attend church on Sunday. We give weekly urine screens, and breathalyzer tests are given randomly.
Our vision for the future is to open ten Life Recovery Homes in ten years. We are anxiously waiting His provision and leading.
My two favorite Bible verses are: Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” NKJV
And Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” NKJV
Pastor Bill, I want to express my deep appreciation to you, your wife, and your ministry for planting our Cross. We plan to build a prayer garden with the Cross as the center of the garden. We also want to incorporate a vegetable garden, where the men in our home can grow produce to feed themselves and give back to the neighbors and community. This will be a place to pray, sow, plant and reap.
This Cross is so important to us because it clearly separates us from all the other recovery programs in our area. We have Jesus, and I can tell you firsthand that He makes all the difference in this world when it comes to breaking the chains of addiction!
In closing, I want to echo Ignatius who said this in 111 AD: “My dear Jesus, my Savior, is so deeply written on my heart, that I feel confident, that if my heart were to be cut open and chopped to pieces, the name of Jesus would be found written on every piece.” May this testimony, our planted Cross, and our lives scream the name of Jesus until our dying breath!
Sincerely and Only Through Him,
Prayer: Father thank you for those the world over who are committed to shouting the name of Jesus Christ until glory. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!