What up? My name is Ben and I am from Lexington, Tennessee. I am 15 years old and I have grown up in a christian home, and I was saved on November 15 1994, or at least thought. I remember praying the prayer to ask Jesus into my life, and I remember the feeling, but I didn't change completely, there wasn't much I was doing in the 3rd grade that was bad but I kept on doing it.

I was a pretty good kid all up until 6th grade. I started hanging out with our preacher’s grandson. He was basically the “town hoodlum” and I started doing the same things he did, which was curse and lie to my parents and stuff like that. We started smoking about the middle of 6th grade and his mom didn't really care so we had a place to do it and a way to get them. We would joke, like I would be saying “dawg  I am going to hell” and we would be like “I'll be right behind you” and didn't think anything about it.

We became really good friends. We would try the same things at the same time. About April of my 6th grade year we both tried pot, it was great. We would like smoke it maybe twice a month. I started listing to metal music and hanging out with the “outcasts” of the class. and wearing baggy jeans.

I didn't smoke weed for like a couple of months in the 7th grade cause me and my friend weren't great friends anymore. I was going to church still and our church goes to this camp every summer called Crosspoint. It was a christian sports camp. My friend went to it with me. The Thursday night we were there, we had a bible study just of our church. That was the closest to God I had ever been. There were only 2 dry eyes in the prayer circle. and those were my friends. I thought if he gets saved it will straighten him up and then I will straighten up too. I asked him if he wanted to get saved and he said, “I am not sure if I want to give up some of the stuff I am doing”. And you could have stuck a knife in my heart then.

That friend got skipped to high school and I stayed in 8th grade. I became friends with the “freaks” of the school and got more into metal music. I started hanging out with a boy that lived up the street from me. He was a year older than me but we were good friends. He introduced me to a music group called the Insane Clown Posse. I was fascinated with them, the thought of clowns. A loveable character you see at circuses and parades making people smile, talking about killing people and doing voodoo. The thought of a “wickid clown” I was intrigued. I started listing to them, and memorized every word on their cd. They call their devoted fans juggalos, I became one of those. I was singing them in the halls freaking people out. Wearing all black to school and painting my fingernails black, it got so bad that when all my black clothes were dirty and I wore just regular baggy blue jeans people were amazed to see color on me. I still went to church and I used the excuse that it was just a color, when people asked me. about it. My mom kept telling me the music I was listening to, was affecting the way I was. and I didn't believe her. My temper got really bad and I punched a whole in the wall of my hall cause I couldn't go to a concert.

During the summer I stayed with my friend up the street a lot. His parents would go out of town and I would drink with him and smoke weed with his sister. I thought it was so cool. I got less interested in the Insane Clown Posse, and got more interested with living a social life. I would have times I felt really bad about stuff but I would rarely pray. One night I was on the internet talking with my friend who I really admired for being a very strong christian and he said he was witnessing to my friend that was always dissing God and being an immature punk. We talked to him for a while and my friend that was a really strong christian had to get offline so I was there with my friend who I thought was a christian talking to him about God. He finally got to where he wanted to accept Jesus into his heart and I typed in a prayer he said it. I repented. That was the first time I had prayed it like a year and come to find out my friend I thought was a christian wasn't and he got saved too. And now I thank God every day for giving me the wisdom, knowledge, and heart to talk about him.

Now I am still struggling with the drinking and the cussing and smoking cigarettes, but I know with God’s help I can do anything.

Love is sincere, Hate what is evil, Cling to what is good.     Romans 12:9

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