Faithful & True
Hello, I'm Gary Lee.I'll try to make this short. Where did I come from,where have I been, and where am I going? I was born in the 60's. I grew up on farms in Southern Iowa, My dad loved country music and it was always on the radio in the barn when we were milking cows, dad said He knew when us boys put rock-n-roll on, coz it made the cows crazy. My mom loved singing and she loved singing hymns I grew up singing with her in church. The 80's were hard down on the farm, I had 3 options after school go to college, go to the military or stay on the farm. I was good at taking tests and my parents were poor so I opted for higher education. The college professors told a rebellious farm boy who voted for Reagan all the answers to all the questions no one else would let me ask. It didn't take long for my worldview to take an 180 from how I was raised. When I hit 21 I grew my hair long and said I am going to be the Next Big Thing, I started playing hard rock music in some garage bands. I got kicked out of one because I couldn't perform unless I was wasted and when I got wasted I couldn't stop cussing. I told them it was working good for Axl Rose, they said this ain't GNR. The financial aid was running out so it was time to find a job. My friend told me to move with him to Chicago, my big break. Time to blow out of BFE get out of the cornfield and take my rock-n-roll dream to the big city. I answered a add that was on a guitar shop wall that said two wickedly serious guitarists looking for a lead singer, I figured that these guys would not have a problem with my lifestyle choices or my dabblings into the dark side when it came to putting my nightmarish visions to music. I was right it was anything goes musically. At the same time I started working on the railroad all the live long day, back then the railroad was pretty much anything goes. Call in before start time if you were too drunk to work and no drug testing after you were hired of course. What a dream I could have long hair be wasted, wear crazy denim and leather bikerheavy metal clothes and still get paid. My heavy devil metal career just couldn't ever get going I spent all my time money and effort trying to get our band going, making demos getting practise spots setting up shows. But after 6 years it just wasn't to be, after giving the devil all this devotion all I was, was a drunk drugged out wreck living in filth suffering from nightmarish visions and haunting voices and getting sucked into the vortex of Jack and crack. I did meet one cool old man named Clay when I lived in a Roach Hotel. He would feed me when I was hungry he was from Georgia. He told me to quit what I was doing and play country music and when I played I had to use triple fiddles, I finally took his advice on the song 'Immortal Victorious' I finally moved out of Chicago coz it was literally driving me crazy. I didn't want to be the next thing on the 6oclock news I wanted to be the Next Big Thing. My job moved to the border of Illinois and I moved to Southern Wisconsin. I started drinking in the local taverns and the only music on the jukebox that I liked was the old country songs that were on there that I grew up with. Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, David Allen Coe, Merle Haggard, Waylon and Willie, Hank jr., Then one night when I was drunk I realized something that my whole adult life I had been trying to deny who I really was. Country music began to make sense to me It was the soundtrack of my life. Farmboy, railroader, trucker, drunk, loser at love who was I trying to kid. I listened to David Allen Coe's song 'If I ain't country you can kiss my a#%' I said yeh, that's me. around the same time my sister married Johnny B,y partner in Thee Jesus Rider. I met Johnny and he had a home studio in his house we started recording old time country. Insurgent country was big in Chicago in the late 90's. Me and Johnny were going to try and make a demo for Bloodshot. Every thing was going well until Johnny got saved, and wouldn't make music with me anymore my dream was dead. I decided that if I couldn't make country music with Johnny I was content to be a railroad biker dude and live the rest of my life. I met a woman in Chicago one night and when I was around her I didn't want to do cocaine any more I figured it had to be true love. So I moved her up to my house in Wisconsin got drunk and said I Do! My life was about to take a turn. On a Thursday night I was drunk and I was talking to my sick dad about a junky old truck I had left on the farm, I was cussing him out coz he was too weak to change the oil. What a class act. I got the news on Sunday morning He was dead. The last thing I did to my dad on this Earth was curse him. I had effectively avoided any church service for years, I barely would even go to my best friends wedding coz it was in a church. I wouldn't darken a church door unless I was drunk. So I got drunk and went to my dad's funeral, The preacher preached a revival message that day it was the first time in years that the Holy Spirit had convicted me of my sin and eventual judgement. The preacher gave an altar call and I almost went except he said you don't have to give up your Budweiser beer to come to Jesus and every one knows I used to drink Miller High Life. I resisted God that day the next 15 months were living Hell. I felt like Jacob wrestling with God. I was drinking so much and smoking so much weed I was ready to die I was almost 400 lbs and redder than a beet. I was having episodes where my whole body would be paralyzed and I was too proud and defiant to call out to God and be saved from this death. One day one of these attacks happened at work while I was on the toilet and I couldn't get off I thought Oh no I am going to die just like Elvis, alone on the throne.o be continued....well I guess it's finally time to finish this thing. When I left you I was not only dying in my sins but also dying in this earthly body, It can be quite harrowing experience to face physical death with absolutely no hope in the after life. One day while walking down the road I was having one of my many attacks, I felt like my whole body was paralyzed except my feet which felt like they were in leg shackles that they use on dangerous prisoners. I know first hand how that feels but that's another story. The point is that I thought I was this tough guy who could withstand the torture of hell, at that moment I felt totally helpless I was totally vulnerable, I was walking along a road and the Sun was burning in my eyes, and I couldn't even lift a finger to block it. Cars were careening next to me and I couldn't even jump out of the way. It felt like the sum of my iniquity was crushing me into the earth. Like Atlas carrying the globe on his back. After 34 years of rebellion I finally humbled myself, gave up on my pride and I did the only thing that I had never done before I cried out to the Lord of the Heavens and Earth Thee Creator God Jesus Christ and asked him to HELP ME! Some how at that moment a man who grew up in church did not realize what happened. The weight of sin that i was carrying was lifted by the Lord and He took the burden away. I made it to my truck and all of a sudden my life changed. I stopped drinking I stopped doing drugs, I stopped hating people. I stopped cussing, It was weird I would turn off the heavy metal station and put a preacher on. I started praying and reading my Bible. I even burned all my evil books, and writings a neighbor kid asked me what I was doing and I said 'I was burning up another man's life' Yeh the old man that was dead now because a new man had been born by the Blood of Christ.