In His Steps Ministries

In His Steps Ministries

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Are you a Christian that struggles with various issues?
Then my testimony may be of help to you.

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Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...

Testimony of Richard D. Dover

| Mini Testimony | Short Testimony | Long Testimony | Updates | Accept Christ |

To read about our ministry in Seattle, WA, to to The Hill for Jesus

The Mini Testimony of Richard D. Dover

I wish I could share how I had all these problems and God miraculously delivered me and I am one of the most wonderful people in the world. Actually, I don't wish to share that at all. I am thankful how God has worked in my life and that I am a child of the King. And day by day He is molding and shaping me into the image of His son, Jesus Christ. I hope that others will learn from my mistakes and not suffer the consequences I have over the years.

I grew up as an atheist. At the age of 24 I became a Christian. However until the last five years, I had a terrible struggle with anger. My anger and depression almost destroyed me and those I loved. But praise God, he gave me victory over the anger and depression. I truly am a new man. If you or someone you know has trouble with anger and/or depression then I would encourage you to read my more detailed testimony. There is Hope In Christ Jesus. There is victory over sin. Read on.

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The Short Testimony of Richard D. Dover
Anger almost destroyed me!

I wish I could share how I had all these problems and God miraculously delivered me and I am one of the most wonderful people in the world. Actually, I don't wish to share that at all. I am thankful how God has worked in my life and that I am a child of the King. And day by day He is molding and shaping me into the image of His son, Jesus Christ. I hope that others will learn from my mistakes and not suffer the consequences I have over the years.

If you are a woman be aware that much of what I share about my life may bring up bad memories or even current pain regarding abuse by a husband or boyfriend. Use wisdom before reading my story. At the same time realize that God can change anyone if they are willing to be changed.

I grew up in an atheist home. I never saw a need for God. I saw him as a crutch. I thought I was a good person because I was an 'A' student, didn't do drugs, etc. However, I had a great anger problem.

I went to college and started driving and drinking and living a loose lifestyle. I still was an excellent student (four year degree in three years) and thought I was better than everyone else. Overall, I did not have love for people. In fact, I really had no compassion for people.

After having my girlfriend get an abortion, I married her. One week before Mary and I were married, I had sexual relations with someone else. I married Mary with no idea what love is. There was anger (verbal abuse) in the home, but it did not seem too bad. It seemed normal to me. And actually compared to later years, it was mild.

Because of a car accident, I came to know Jesus Christ as my savior. I was amazed of how I suddenly had a love for people. I had more of a desire to love Mary. I became very involved with a church and this was some of the best times of my life. However, Mary was involved with several men, I still had anger problems, and we finally got divorced.

I met a Christian woman at Bible College a year later. Previously Pat had been married twice to abusive men. I felt sorry for her and married her thinking I would be the best thing for her. I was so wrong. I was more verbally abusive to her than I was to Mary. In the midst of all this I was growing in other areas of my life and even being used by God, but the anger was destroying our relationship and me. I was very depressed, even suicidal. I either turned the anger outward or inward (depression). Counseling only seemed to help a little bit. Ultimately we got divorced.

I made a commitment to never be abusive to a woman again. A year after the divorce I married Karla. I knew this marriage would work. Both of us were very committed Christians and loved the Lord with all of our heart. God was using us to touch people's lives. Again, I was growing in many areas of my life. But at the same time throughout our marriage the anger was raising it's ugly head all over again. I was wounding Karla emotionally. At times things would get better as I would get counseling. But I still did not hate the anger within me to the point of wanting it gone no matter what. I was also always walking around with depression. Karla finally would not put up with the abuse anymore. She said NO MORE!

I finally saw the seriousness of my anger problem. I truly saw how it was destroying others and me. I saw my desperate need for deliverance. I knew I would end up physically hurting my wife or son or end up taking my life. I did not want to see the cycle repeated all over again. I decided to take desperate measures to get help no matter what. Even if I lost my marriage.

I went to a treatment clinic for depression and anger. It changed my life. I was able to see the ugliness of the anger and still see God loved me. I was able to give it all to Him. And He delivered me. Ultimately Karla and I still got divorced.

It has been 10 years since I went to Minrith-Meir Clinic New Life Clinics. I am a changed person. Pat, Karla, and my son can testify that I am different. Jesus still sits on throne. He still changes lives. I am much happier. I am no longer in bondage. I still have struggles in life at times, but I am not an abuser. Praise God.

My victory over being abusive and a controlling personality came as a result of me acknowledging my sin, realizing I could not have victory through my own strength, and turning to Christ to deliver me. He can do the same for you. Don't wait the years I did to have victory. Anger was an addiction. Whatever your addiction, let Jesus set you free.

I am a different person. I have victory in Jesus. I am more than a saved person. I am walking more and more in the Spirit. I am experiencing greater relationship with the God of this universe. I have not arrived, but I am very different from before. And I am growing daily. Three steps forward and sometimes one step backward.

I want to say that my ex-wives certainly had problems and did not help matters at times. But that is their problem. My victory came when I saw my sins, not theirs or anyone else's. Your victory will come when you see your sins, not others.

Click for a Testimonial Update

15 Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship
Sermon on Anger

 

If you don't know Christ, humbly turn your life over Him. If you have accepted Christ and He is your savior, allow Him to be Lord of Lords in your life. Get help! Wherever God leads you. It may be through counseling, you may need some medication, through going to a Spirit-filled church, deliverance from demon possession, and maybe all of the above. Do whatever it takes! It is worth it!

 There are three Bible texts I lean on heavily. They are:

Philippians 1:6
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:13
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Philippians 3:12-14
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. [13] Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Praise God, He began a good work in me and He will complete it. He gives me the desire to live and serve Him for His good pleasure. I can let go of the past and press on toward His calling for me.

Some of you reading this may say you don't need Christ. You have lived a moral, good upright life and have lived by the Golden Rule. According to the Bible, if we have sinned only once, we have 'missed the mark'-sinned. No one is 'good enough'.

Romans 3:10
As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.
Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

How To Accept Christ

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The Long Testimony of Richard D. Dover
Anger almost destroyed me!

I wish I could share how I had all these problems and God miraculously delivered me and I am one of the most wonderful people in the world. Actually, I don't wish to share that at all. I am thankful how God has worked in my life and that I am a child of the King. And day by day He is molding and shaping me into the image of His son, Jesus Christ. I hope that others will learn from my mistakes and not suffer the consequences I have over the years.

If you are a woman be aware that much of what I share about my life may bring up bad memories or even current pain regarding abuse by a husband or boyfriend. Use wisdom before reading my story. At the same time realize that God can change anyone if they are willing to be changed.

I grew up in an atheist family in California. I should say that my father was an atheist and my mother may have believed in God, but it was never, ever discussed. In my home there was a great amount of anger between my family and me. I was always arguing with someone and getting many spankings, swats, belts. In spite of this, I was the 'good kid' in the family. I didn't do drugs, etc. And I was an 'A' student. So, I always felt I was better than everyone else was. Especially those using drugs, etc. At this time God was never on my mind. And I didn't have much love in my heart for people. Actually, I didn't care much for people.

When I was going to college there was a Christian young lady I knew. We could be friends as long as she did not talk to me about the Lord. While in college I started drinking and living a 'loose' lifestyle. Whatever I did, I did it compulsively. There were several times I drove and drank. But again, I thought I was better than all those drug addicts, 'liberals' (Vietnam Era), etc. When I was around 18-19, my family moved to a different city. In my bedroom there was a little old book in my bedroom closet called "Angel Unaware" by Dale Evans. After reading it, I starting thinking there might be a God. The book was about a Mongoloid child of Roy and Dale Evans. The book touched me deeply. To this day I believe an angel made sure it was left in my room.

I was dating a girl (Mary) I worked with and she got pregnant. I decided that Mary should get an abortion. I knew it was a baby, but it was up to me if it lived. "I made it," "I can kill it" was my attitude. There was no compassion on my heart for Mary or the unborn baby. Not too long after the abortion we got married. I married her because our sex life was great and we had many fun times. I can't say I married her because I loved her unselfishly. In fact, a week before we got married, I had sexual relations with another woman.

A year later we moved to Oregon. I thought things were going great. We both worked full-time making some good money, we bought land, and had a house built in the country. I had a garden. It seemed as if my dreams were being fulfilled. However Mary and I argued quite a bit. I thought, "oh well that is life." I did not realize how damaging it was. I realize now that I had no idea what her needs were. I was also very controlling and did not know it.

One day I was driving on a country road and went around a corner too fast and went over and embankment and the vehicle (with a full tank of gas) rolled landing upside down. At the time, I believed that my car should have exploded. (I guess I watched too many movies-J ). I now realize that it was not that serious of an accident. However, God did not care that I over exaggerated the accident. He only knew that I believed that a God must have protected me from getting hurt.

I started reading the book "Evidence That Demands A Verdict" by Josh McDowell. A coworker that I use to argue with all the time about there was no God, gave it to me. After reading the book I was convinced that the Bible is true, there was a God, and His Son Jesus died for me. I went to a man who was in Amway, but use to be a preacher. He told me how to be saved. I accepted Christ that day in a Denny's Restaurant bathroom. I remember having the greatest peace I had ever felt and tears of joy. I was born again. I found I started having a love in my heart for people. It was amazing to me. However, I now realize that I accepted Christ in my life mainly because the Bible said I was a sinner. I still did not see that I was just as much a sinner as 'all those other sinful people'. I did not see my anger problems were sin. My conversion needed to be more in my heart, than my mind.

I started going to a small country Baptist church by my house. I got baptized and started working with the youth. I was just a babe but was leading bible studies with the young people and doing outings with them. I look back now and I was sure 'green behind the ears' when it came to God's Word. But He was with me. He was happy to see His child enjoying being a servant for Him. That was a very good time in my life. I was consumed with wanting to know more about God. However, when it came to anger and control, I still did not have victory, and didn't even realize I needed victory.

As soon as I accepted Christ my marriage started falling apart. My wife started cheating on me and things got worse and worse in our relationship. One night while I was working I left work to see if she was at man's house. I saw her car there. I started to go to my house to get a gun. As I left, the Holy Spirit reminded me that Jesus was Lord. Praise God. I went back to the house. The man opened the door and had only his underwear on. I found her naked in his bed. Amazingly, all anger left me. I calmly spoke to her and the man. I told him I was planning on killing him, but instead I am sad that he is making bad choices. He apologized to me and they never saw each other again.

We moved to Anchorage, Alaska and I started going to a "non-denominational" charismatic church. I loved the church tremendously and was growing leaps and bounds spiritually. About six months later Mary was pregnant and she went to see her father in California and came back, filed for divorce, and had an abortion. I was devastated when she got the abortion. Since accepting Christ in my life, I realized we have no right to play God. This time I wanted to save a life and I was not able to do that.

Mary moved to California to get married, and I started attending Bible School. I went to school for 1 1/2 years. This was another good time in my life. I loved sharing the Gospel with others and I was learning about intimacy with God.

I met my second wife-Pat at Bible College. She was very overweight, had been abused by two previous husbands, and had a one-year-old daughter. Her last husband was an addict and left before the daughter was born. I married her thinking I loved her and that I would be the person used by God to heal her of all the past wounds. I was so wrong.

We moved to a small town in Alaska, and bought a house in the country. Again I felt like my dreams were being met. However, I continued to be very abusive (mostly verbally) and controlling. Much, much worse than I was with Mary. Pat was pregnant with our son, and I spent most of the time yelling and screaming at her. In some ways I was worst than her other husbands. And I was a Christian and they were not. I became very depressed at times. Even suicidal. However, even through all this, I did not see how bad things were. I did not understand how damaging anger could be. I always I thought, "at least I am not beating on her", and I don't drink, and I am a faithful provider. There are worse husbands. I realize now, that I was very deceived and caused tremendous pain to Pat.

At the same time all this was happening I was more involved in church. We both loved church and God, but each of us had 'baggage' from the past that was destroying our marriage. I also believe that we received poor counsel in regards to women and submission. I believe in the biblical principal of submission. But the Bible does not command women to stay in the midst of abuse. I believe He calls them to set up boundaries and to protect themselves from abuse, verbal or physical. Ultimately this marriage ended also. We were devastated. Both of us were Christians who had failed in a marriage. I now had a stepdaughter and a son that were not living with me. I lost my house in foreclosure and lost almost all of my possessions. Even with all this I did not see that anger, control, low self-esteem was the root problem.

In spite of everything I continued to serve God and did not go to the world for answers to my pain. I knew the world has nothing to offer. I had a church family that loved me and helped me to make it through the divorce. Since accepting Christ I have always known God is the answer. He has always come through. In spite of me, God continued to use me to be an encouragement to others and to help people grow in Christ. I became involved in Prison Ministry. I soon realized that I could be any one of those men. It was only by God's grace that I did not do some of the same things. I started understanding more of the fact that I am sinner saved by grace. I started developing a real heart relationship with God.

A little more than a year after my divorce I started dating my third wife-Karla and thought, "I finally found a godly woman that loves me and I really love." I made a commitment to myself to never be abusive again. We both ministered together and had some good times and had some great friends. My son was back with me and Karla loved him. I truly wanted to be different with her. She was special. However, there were some warning signs that there were still anger issues in my life. But I did not behave even close to the way I did before, so I did not pay much attention to them.

In this marriage I had some of the greatest joys. I finally understood what intimacy was all about. I understood about being loved. I had a greater understanding of God's love. God was really blessing Karla and I in regards to ministering to others. We saw several peoples lives changed. The Lord was using us in a great way. But once again, my anger was destroying a relationship. I need to say that my anger not only affected my relationship with my wives and children, but other relationships as well. It seemed as if conflicts followed me everywhere.

I started getting depressed again. I would go to counseling and it would help tremendously. But as soon as I would get better I would stop going to counseling. I was put on an anti-depressant, but then I would stop taking it, because I would think I didn't need it. I tried to be better, but it was never good enough. Unknowingly, most of the time, I was excusing my angry behavior. I would always look at the fact I was less angry in this marriage than my previous one. I was less abusive. I was doing better. Abuse is abuse! Damage is damage! Oh, I was so deceived.

Finally, I realized how serious my anger problem was. I realized that I was going to be divorced again unless things changed. I saw the damage I was doing to my son. I saw the pain I was causing my Lord. I had an awakening. The 'lights' came on. I desperately needed help. I needed deliverance. Unless things changed, I would end up physically hurting someone or myself. I realized that I had been a hard working employee all my life, used by God in many marvelous ways, stayed away from all the sinful things, but I was bond up in anger. Jesus was my savior and my Lord in some areas of my life, but not all. I was limiting what God wanted to do in my life. I could not walk in all that He has for me because of my sin and bondage of anger. I had scared deeply three women in my life, two children, others around me. I was a pawn of Satan. I needed help. And I needed it now. My heavenly Father used Karla to help me see the seriousness of my situation. She said NO MORE!

I checked into Minrith-Meier Clinic (New Life Clinics) in California for depression and anger. It changed my life. I was able to see the ugliness of my life and at the same time see the love of God. I met others who had been in bondage to sin and at the same time loved Jesus. I found out I was not alone. I had hope that I could be different. I wanted to be different rather I lost my marriage or not. I wanted to be the man that God called me to be. And that was to not be an angry, controlling abusive husband or father. I was only there for ten days, but it changed my life. I thank God for this ministry. Before I left, they started me on anti-depressant medication.

When I came back home I was doing better in relating to Karla. I was learning how to be less controlling. But a person does not change over night when they have learned wrong behavior for years. It would take time for the baggage to drop off from me. Plus Karla had her issues. I was still being abusive to my son, plus he had anger issues. Karla could not take anymore and we got divorced. I personally believe if she could have given some more time to the relationship, we may have been able to work it out. But I guess the damage was too much. She will always be in my heart. She truly was the first woman to really love me. And she is the one who gave me tough love. Thank God for her tough love. I am a different man because of Karla. She put up boundaries.

It was five years ago that I went to Minrith-Meier Clinic. I have been off the medication for four years. Life is so different. I am free from being controlled by anger. Yes I still get angry at times, but it is so different. It does not control me. Sometimes, I have to do much self-talk, but I have victory most of the time. I am finally able to love myself. I could not love others until I loved myself. I now realize that I was living with depression for years and not knowing it. I wish I had gotten on anti-depressants years ago. There are times I still feel low, but as soon as I am aware of what is happening, I ask the Lord to lift me up and He comes through each time. I renew my mind by His grace. I have so much more fun in life. Life is not so serious. And at the same time it is more serious than ever. I want to help others to have victory over sin and bondage.

My victory over being abusive and a controlling personality came as a result of me acknowledging my sin, realizing I could not have victory through my own strength, and turning to Christ to deliver me. He can do the same for you. Don't wait the years I did to have victory. Anger was an addiction. Whatever your addiction, let Jesus set you free.

In the last five years I have had some of the best mountaintop experiences and there have been some deserts, but my walk with Jesus has been more consistent. God is truly my Heavenly Father and Jesus is becoming more of my friend. I am finally learning to 'do less' and 'be more.' Too many Christians are trying to follow the do's and don'ts instead of developing an intimate relationship with God. Too much head knowledge and not enough heart knowledge.

I am a different person. I have victory in Jesus. I am more than a saved person. I am walking more and more in the Spirit. I am experiencing greater relationship with the God of this universe. I have not arrived, but I am very different from before. And I am growing daily. Three steps forward and sometimes one step backward.

You may ask me how do I know I am different. The proof is a changed life. I may believe it, but do the victims of my abuse see me different? Pat and I are now acquaintances and becoming friends. She states I am a different man. She even trusts me. (Anger absolutely destroys trust). Karla (she lives in Alaska and I now live in Washington), states that she sees me as a different man. A friend of Karla's who lives here in Washington is amazed at the difference in me. She saw me in my worst moments. My son is living with me and I relate to him in such a different manner. He will tell you I am different. I spent a week during Christmas with my stepdaughter. I do not believe she would have spent one day with me unless she thought I was different. Praise God who still is the deliverer. At times I wish I could find Mary and personally apologize for the pain I caused her. I still need to find the means to make amends to my mother, brother and sister. ( I am not doing a very good job in this).

At times it hurts to see all the damage caused by my bondage to anger and control. To see all the years that were 'wasted'. However, in the midst of all the ugliness, God was there. Praise God, my 'bottom' could have been much deeper. For some it is. I hope to help others not go so deep. I can tell them there is a way out. I think my greatest disappointment is that most of the people in my life did not let me know how serious my problem was. God loves us and forgives us and His mercy is abundant, but there also are consequences for our actions. Maybe through God's love and the lessons I have learned, I can help someone not have so many consequences.

Click for a Testimonial Update

There are three Bible texts I lean on heavily. They are:

Philippians 1:6
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:13
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Philippians 3:12-14
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. [13] Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Praise God, He began a good work in me and He will complete it. He gives me the desire to live and serve Him for His good pleasure. I can let go of the past and press on toward His calling for me.

I want to say that my ex-wives certainly had problems and did not help matters at times. But that is their problem. My victory came when I saw my sins, not theirs or anyone else's. Your victory will come when you see your sins, not others.

Also, there have been many good times over the years. There were times that I saw the hand of God move in the midst of these three marriages. I have known His peace in the midst of all the pain. I have seen Him use me in other people's lives even when I was living the life of an abuser. His grace and mercy is good. However it was His desire for me to be set free years ago.

15 Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship
Sermon on Anger

 

If you don't know Christ, humbly turn your life over Him. If you have accepted Christ and He is your savior, allow Him to be Lord of Lords in your life. Get help! Wherever God leads you. It may be through counseling, you may need some medication, through going to a Spirit-filled church, deliverance from demon possession, and maybe all of the above. Do whatever it takes! It is worth it!

Some of you reading this may say you don't need Christ. You have lived a moral, good upright life and have lived by the Golden Rule. According to the Bible, if we have sinned only once, we have 'missed the mark'-sinned. No one is 'good enough'.

Romans 3:10
As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.
Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

How To Accept Christ

If you have questions about God, Christianity, the Bible, Jesus, then I would suggest you check out our Spiritual Seekers Page.

Salvation Plan

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