About Dustin Daniels…
Dustin shares his story of bondage, addiction and brokenness to encourage others to deal with the sexual sin in their own lives. By God’s grace he is now a purity evangelist to the world with his radio show being listened to in 80 countries.
Dustin is an ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ specializing in purity and sexual health. He is finishing his Masters of Divinity Degree at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary with future plans of pursuing a Ph.D. in Theology with an emphasis in Biblical Sexual Ethics. Dustin is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and the Southern Baptist Convention. Dustin is married to Amy. They have been living in Phoenix for the past ten years and are members of Northern Hills Community Church.
Below is the audio and transcript of his testimony that was shared at Desert Sun Church in Glendale Arizona during his Pastoral Licensing.
“There is power in stories. Almighty God shows us that all through scripture whether it’s the historical story of creation, the biographical stories of Nehemiah, Jonah, King David, or Jesus our Lord & Savior through His parables. There is power in stories. The story I’m getting ready to share with you is how I met Jesus.
But, before I begin I wanted to give you a few disclaimers.
Even though this story is about how I personally met Jesus, it’s really not about me at all. It’s about how Almighty God chose to intervene in my life in His perfect timing. And I pray that the Holy Spirit allows you to hear those details.
This story is about sin, addiction, recovery and redemption. It’s also about the mercy, grace and forgiveness of Jesus and how He used a community of people called local church to point me to the only One who could take away my pain…the only One who could and would take away my shame of who I was, along with the guilt I carried because of the choices that I had made. Ultimately, this story is about the redeeming love of Jesus.
My grandmother knows how to cook fried chicken. I can still hear the sound of the grease frying and the smell in the kitchen. It was during one of our many family gatherings in this tiny two bedroom home that my mom and her family grew up.
It was at one of these family get-togethers that my grandmother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her either a radio disc jockey or a priest. Her exact words were, “OH!, it would be so nice to have another priest in the family!”
My parents were already divorced at that time, I don’t remember dad being there when my grandmother asked that question – I was probably 5 or 6 years old. My brother and I turned into weekend warriors visiting dad. My brother always seemed to get along with dad. Me… not so much. To my own shame, I never really got to know him. I loved him, but I really didn’t like him. I never understood why a beer was always in his hand and women were always on his mind… until it was too late.
My mom remarried several years later to who I would now consider the best father figure I had ever had. He was tall and handsome. He was strong….grew up on the farm in Ohio and bailed a lot of hay. He had morals, he had rules…and he wasn’t afraid of enforcing them.
He also loved Jesus. This big strong man actually took the time to read the Bible to my mom, my brother and I. For whatever reason, as soon as they got married he was diagnosed with cancer and died within months. It seemed that the only man that I respected as a father-figure was gone…just like that.
A few years later my mother re-married again. This time to a guy who I would now consider a smarmy used car salesman. I don’t think he really knew what he was getting into taking on two-step children. One of the best things he ever did was teach my brother and I how to water-ski. We became so good at it we started winning tournaments. He was much more a coach than a dad.
He tried to love us, but his façade wouldn’t last but a few years…his drinking and drug use became very apparent. Once again another marriage ends as another statistic. Last I heard, he was in jail for sending drugs through the mail…which is ironic seeing that he worked for the United States Postal Service!
During this time my brother and I were going to a catholic school. I was a good kid as far as my mom knew…apart from the drinking, the drugs and the sex. I was an alter boy too. I knew how to help the priests facilitate mass…. but I never knew the One for whom it was being facilitated for.
After high school I received a water-ski scholarship to a school in Louisiana. I was part of a team that won several national championships….and oh by I also received an education…. a Radio/TV/Film degree. It only took me 5.5 years!
In college I met a girl, and we got married. I was 22 years old. After graduation, I started my professional career as a radio personality. That was really fun for the first several years, but it didn’t pay much. In fact it was really hard to pay rent with Van Halen cd’s and t-shirts that I stole from the prize closet.
We were attending a Methodist church at that time and were a little involved with Bible studies and volunteer work. For whatever reason I felt compelled to go to talk to minister about becoming a minister like him. I told my wife what I had done – and she asked if I was crazy. She said she wasn’t sure if she was willing to live “that lifestyle.” So I dropped it.
So at the prime of age 24, when ignorance is so bliss, I went out and got a loan from a bank to start a video production company and marketing firm. BTW, who gives that kind of money to a 24 year old?! Anyway, four years later I run both businesses into the ground, claim Chapter 7 bankruptcy and go to work in the corporate world.
Around the age of 28, I was just so restless and bored with life. A buddy of mine asked me if I wanted to start racing motorcycles. I always loved bikes – I grew up on bikes…so a team of us spent the next few years on the weekends traveling around the country racing on what was called the RPM circuit. We actually won the nationals in our last year of racing.
It was also during this time to where my world started to come crashing down around me. I was severely depressed and had no one in my life to talk to. If you would have asked me if I was a Christian, I would have said yes, because I thought so – I mean after all, I went to Church, I went to confession, I served as an altar boy, I went to a Catholic school….but I definitely was not acting like a Christian.
It was also during this time that my dirty little secret with pornography had been exposed Ya see, I was already a very confused little boy when it came to sex. A baby sitter sexually abused me when I was very young. And then I saw my first porn magazine around the age of 7 or 8 at my dad’s house. I became instantly fascinated and even more confused as to what I saw. I started stealing them and taking them home so I could look at them every night.
It took 20 years, but all my fantasies were starting to become real. I had an emotional affair with someone at work that led to adultery with several different women. I decided it was best just to pack up and leave my wife one weekend – no explanation, no apologies – I just left and filed for divorce. I was now in my late 20’s and my life was completely out of control. My depression kept me from holding a job….as I had nine different jobs in less than 18 months.
One of the women I was committing adultery with, actually left her husband and her two children to come live with me. I thought to myself that, wow….she left her family for me, I should probably do the “right thing” and marry her. I mean it was the right thing, right?
The reality is that I really didn’t even like her – let alone love her. I thought I did. But the brutal truth was that I only liked what she could do for me. Our relationship was solely built on sex. She was my toy. It was strange because in all reality, I really couldn’t stand this woman I was completely obsessed with and… now married to.
My depression got worse. I didn’t want to stay awake…I physically couldn’t. I would sleep 12-14 hours a day. Most of the jobs I had were sales jobs, so I had the flexibility of coming home for lunch and just sleeping the rest of the day. One afternoon I woke up from one of my many naps and realized how pathetic my life had become. I decided that this day was going to be the day that I killed myself.
I knew where the gun was… but the moment I thought that to myself, I hear this….”So you’re going to carry on the family tradition of being cowards? Your grandfather shot himself, your father drank himself to death, and now its your turn?” I thought it a bit odd that a question like that would run through my mind… Regardless, I got up and went back to work. I was oblivious to realize Who even asked it.
That marriage lasted less than five months and ended with her physically assaulting me and then her spending the weekend in jail. After my second divorce, at the age of 30, I started to evaluate my life and realized what a train wreck it was.
I started to seek God….go figure. At 31, God had given me a truly amazing job opportunity by moving to Houston Texas. I was going to church, getting involved in singles classes. I was looking for a good Christian girl because I thought I was a Christian….
One night I went on a date (I had no business dating because I was a very confused and insecure little boy, but I went on a date) to a Christian rock concert. After the concert, we went back to her place….and slept together.
The next day, I felt a heaviness that I couldn’t shake. Something was very, very wrong all day. It was like something was physically weighing me down pushing my shoulders to the ground.
It was late afternoon and I got back from running some errands and as soon as I walked in the apartment… I just fell to the floor and I just started crying. I couldn’t take the heaviness anymore, and I fell to the ground. I heard Someone say “Give it to me.” Don’t ask me how I knew that the “it” He was referring to was my life, I just knew. I cried out through my tears and I screamed “TAKE IT!…..I HATE IT…I HATE IT!”
Now I don’t know how long I laid on the floor and cried that day…but I fell asleep. I don’t know if I was asleep for 10 minutes or 2 hours, but when I woke up I went straight to bed and slept through the afternoon, all night, and woke up in the morning in time to go to work.
On that day May 9 2004, my life was forever changed. It was actually “Mothers Day”. I met the Lord Jesus Christ that day and He alone forgave me for my sins… and redeemed my life of my many addictions, including pornography.
Within several weeks my eyes were opened to my pagan lifestyle from the TV shows I watched, the music I listened to, the way I talked with my filthy mouth, and the hundreds of lies that I’ve told and believed.
And then in July of 2005, Almighty God in his mercy, grace and kindness gave me a second gift – A Godly, beautiful woman named Amy Lynn. And through her, He is teaching me what true love and intimacy are.
In 2007, by God’s grace I started my journey in seminary studies.
In 2009, Almighty God told me to start a ministry called Seven Places. It’s a sexual purity ministry to where we learn how to live our lives redeemed from pornography and other forms of sexual sin.
Now, within the story I just told you are hundreds of additional mini stories of things not to do. These stories come out in my teaching through Seven Places and my counseling as a pastor.
The story you just heard is one of God’s redeeming love.
The Apostle Paul writes, Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel. I couldn’t agree more:
Woe to me if I do not point you to Jesus.
Woe to me if I don’t tell you the lies that are in addiction.
Woe to me if I don’t share with you how beautiful and freeing God’s definition of sexual purity is.
Woe to me if I don’t share with you how AWESOME a Godly marriage can be.
Woe to me if I don’t counsel marriages, mentor the singles, and visit the sick.
My favorite song goes like this….I was once blind, but now I see. My favorite verse is Psalm 42:2. I thirst for God the Living God, when shall I stand before Him?
Lord, you know how anxious I am for that day. I can’t wait to come home. But until then, there is work to be done in the name of Jesus and today is just another example of a new Chapter in God’s story as we go through the formal process of Pastoral Licensing.
Father, thank you for allowing me to tell your story. Thank you for this ocean of grace that we swim in because of your son Jesus. Thank you for redemption and your amazing grace. In Jesus Name Amen.”