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CURRENT ISSUE: april-may 2009


EveryOne:Reaching Farther Together







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max: a new life begins

Translated by Dennis Teague



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I was born July 8,1984, in a family that was Catholic by tradition. I became a Christian August 31, 2008. Between the two dates, I got lost somewhere and never could find the way to the house of God.

I refused God very young, and as a result I felt very alone early in life. I satisfied myself in childhood dreams until I reached the age to go into Junior High School where I discovered a cruel, brutal, and mean world I had never seen before. I failed the sixth grade because of a teacher that terrorized me.

My parents decided to send me to another school where I stayed during the week, returning home only on the weekends. While at this school, my life changed forever. The first day, a student (who later became my friend) punched me hard. It was only the beginning of a long year when I became a punching bag for my classmates. Needless to say, I hated them. I also hated my parents for sending me there, but I especially hated God and anything associated with Him. Where was He? Had He ever done anything for me?

When I returned to school for the second year, I decided that things were going to change. If I needed to, I could also become mean and bad. So that is what I did. When I reached High School, I thought things would change; but I encountered some of my former classmates and, of course, they had not forgotten how to treat me. I dreamed of seeing them all burn. At that time I hated the whole world.

This hate, this rage, this anger slowly consumed me. I became violent and aggressive. At age 16, I began to drink and I did a few other stupid things.




I thought I had found a way of life that completely satisfied me. I got involved in motorcycle racing, and that calmed me down some. But even though my anger was somewhat calmed by this activity, I always felt alone, without hope. I could not forget the past. Years followed where I slept badly, with nightmares every night. Drinking. Fighting. Raging. Anger. Hate. I wanted to die. This was my life.

Just when I thought I had found my miserable way of life, God brought Joel into my life through a common friend named Cyprian. Joel talked to me about God, about Jesus. My first reaction was to deny His existence. But a deep discussion one night made me rethink. The events in my life seemed to fit together too well for it all to be just an accident. Even the difficulties I had endured began to make sense.

I started attending church fairly regularly for about a year. I began to believe in God, but I only used Him when I needed Him. I thought I had overcome all of my demons. I was really egotistical and very proud. But my demons caught up with me. The rage and anger were not gone, and I still carried this burden with me. I became completely lost.

Tony Anthony once wrote: “There are, in my soul, dark spots where I have no desire to enter, and I certainly do not want to give anyone the right to enter.” That was exactly what I felt. I did not want to give anyone access to the dark areas of my heart and my spirit—even God. It was hopeless to think that I could.

Using the world of the motorcycle racing, I arranged for myself a little, idealistic world that did not take long to crumble. I had failed and felt that I would never be able to get back up. I had reason to believe that I could not do it by myself.

On Sunday morning, August 31, 2008, I crawled out of bed to go to the church service of JCrois at the church at Nantes. I sat in a chair, but I didn’t know what I was doing there. I really felt bad. I felt that I had nothing in common with the people around me. I couldn’t stand the people around me. I had a desire to strike out at them just like in the past. I wanted to destroy something beautiful. I detested myself.

And then the preacher of the day, Raphaël Anzenberger, began his sermon. He told us to stop writing the first chapter of our lives—a chapter full of failures—to let God take the pen and write the second chapter of our lives. I felt a great sadness. My burden was crushing me completely, and I felt I had no strength left to carry it. I was going to simply fall in my chair and cry when suddenly I felt the need to respond to the call of Raphaël. He asked all those who wanted to give the pen to God to get up and come pray with someone. I struggled, but the urge became more and more strong.

Finally, I went to the front to see Dennis Teague. I was petrified and did not understand what was happening. I felt like someone was carrying me. I could not think. Dennis asked me to get on my knees and pray with him. I repeated the prayer, completely out of breath. I asked Jesus to save me, and I gave Him my life.

It is written in the Bible: “If the Son sets you free, you are really free”. I got up really free! Since then, life does not have the same flavor, the same meaning. What was eating me up yesterday, today no longer exists. Even so, I am not more worthy of the love of the Lord. I am not stronger, nor better; but I know that every day God loves me and helps me.

I sense His presence so much more than before, and it is marvelous to sense the peace of the Lord in my heart. I know I must stay on my guard and be constant in my prayers, because I am a weak man and I can fall. It is God who gives me the strength to move forward every day, and what I want the most in the world is to respect His will and to follow the way he has designed for me.

I am Maxime. I am 24 years old, and on August 31, 2008, I was born…again.


About the Translator: Dennis Teague has been a missionary to France since 1974. Currently, he is serving in the church at Nantes. Translated September 17, 2008





©2009 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists