Casting Crowns | ‘Does Anybody Hear Her?’ | How Jack Saved My Faith

From Shadow Of Illusions To The Love Of God

During the 1980’s  I developed a secret “alter ego” named “Steve Rush” my professional stage name.  I performed a fire and illusion show in Los Angeles and New York. This was my defense against a unhealthy concept of God and I spent allot of time at the magic castle after I turned 21.


As you see in the picture, this was the way my act began, with my hands on fire and with me fire breathing flames from my mouth about 10-15 feet from side to side. High drama for sure, the truth is I was very scared and angry inside. A look at this picture will show a young man in CONTROLLED RAGE and I was literally the “burning man”

country restaurant
Country Egg Restaurant

I tried to get get free from this in 1987 and I burned my magic equipment in a bon fire ($50,000 worth) turned from this darkness…

I got saved for real as an adult I built a country restaurant (literally changing the culture for my young family. I got a “Spirit Filled Life” Bible and commentary written by Jack Hayford and wanted to learn how to walk in the spirit.

Some leaders lead me in a prayer of deliverance and I really wanted a community… I guess they had seen this picture of me heard and where I had been and I guess they were scared. .I cam away from that hoping it would make these leaders fell better. But even after this “…deliverance” I would get a weird smile and they would say some shallow “christianeze” sayings but it was obvious that I did not belong.

They were just living in fear…but fear of a former illusionist who got saved…yikes!

 My Scarlet Letter

At this time there was a emphasis on the Devil and demons and many people were incessantly focusing on darkness. It seemed to be all they could talk about. Since I had wanted to physically and spiritually turn from all this, I remember in a conversation I had with the pastor where I asked what is all this talk about the devil, I read the back of the book and it says we win“. This over emphasis on darkness was very destructive as these people were gripped in fear and of course that was transferred on to me.

I had heard of a conference being planned with Jack Hayford and I wanted to do what I could to help. My wife and I donated food to feed about 50 people and we were to deliver it at about 8:00 AM to this meeting. Unfortunately one of my employees did not come in to cook the quiche at 5:00 AM and when I arrived at 7:00 I could see that we would be late. I sent my employee with sweet rolls and fruit salad to get them started and turned up the heat to cook it fast. I arrived to the meeting at about 9:00 AM and sincerely apologized for being late. Let’s just say that me reception was vitriol.

One person in a position of leadership at that time said:  “I must not know who this man named Jack Hayford was, and that it was obvious that I was trying to destroy this meeting” and pointed at me and said “your bringing evil into our church”

Yikes…yes the food was late but “bringing evil into their church?that was directed at who I was, not what I was doing…

I changed the culture for my kids developing the “Country Egg”

Country Egg Restaurant – Recipient of the national “Creative Menu Design” Award from the American Egg Board – 1991

It seems Jack Hayford could sense the commotion from about 30 feet away and he said in a very loud voice “I am so glad that the food was late because many time when we have meeting like this we don’t get to know each other….Today we had a chance to visit and really get to know each other!” 

I knew he did this for me. I should have chosen to stand on that, but I choose to listen to more negative feedback and leave the church as I truly thought that it must be me, that I was evil and that I was really beyond redemption.

I take full responsibility for these choices….but still they did not do me any “favors”

I withdrew and no one ever did ask me to go to coffee or reach out to me just to talk. It was just judgement that I felt with no love and my scarlet letter would be with me as I attempted to join or engage with churches in the future.  People are people and these things happen in a  church, and this group has gone on to reach out, although the still continue to fight each other diminishing their effectiveness…..they choose not to be under Jack Hayfords covering and go it alone.

What I understand now that I did not understand then was churches are made up of people who are broken and who need healing. That is what churches are here for. I cannot expect everyone to treat me the way I think I need to be treated all of the time. We do need to be very careful in how we treat people and love and patience in the key. In fact, these times when people, even people in leadership misbehave, it is an opportunity to grow instead of go..

In this case the Lord led me elsewhere….

What one man’s choice did for me that day (and everyone I spoke to at that time)

What is most interesting is that while I studied dark arts again in the early 1990’s, in a group we formed made up of Shamans and Wicca practitioners of about 120 lost souls. Many times people would say something like “all Christians are judgmental” or “all Christians are mean” I would stop and say, “YES in my experience most are, but I know one who wasn’t” and I would tell them the story of Jack Hayford and say “you have to admit that if all Christians were like that Christianity would have died out a long time ago, but for me I know I could never be accepted

That gave me and them pause….(thank you Jack!)

My Best Life Now?

I processed this into rage and bitterness and fear and it really got out of hand…..I continued my study of Shamanism, both American Indian and Celtic pagan systems.

Through deep processes I became linked to Mayan mythologies and rituals and as a result I seemed to have “downloaded” a complete illusion show helping to form a new branch of magic call “sculptured illusion”.

I decided to get a quarter sleeve tattoo of a vision I saw at this time (1998).

Now I new that there would be no way I could ever be accepted into a “church”, so I got together financing and began to bring the show to life

The show was to be called “Mayan Prophecies 2012 – Live” and it might be sold to the new Aladdin hotel in Las Vegas

I was “on top of the world”

During this time, even while in this study of the dark arts, when people would say “all Christians are judgmental” “all Christians are mean” or something similar, I would stop them and say “most yes, but not all, let me tell you the story of what Jack Hayford did for me one day...and this story has a big impact on those who I told this to.

My lost daughter Michelle or Las Vegas Illusion Show? I choose Life! (slide to see)

As I got closer to starring in the show, my soul began to feel cold and my behavior reflected that. On the way to Las Vegas to sell the show, I said the first prayer I had said in years and that was God I need some direction.When I arrived at my hotel in Vegas, a call come though on my cell phone. It was my sister and she put my oldest daughter Michelle on the phone and it was the first time we had spoken for years. She said “Dad, I ran away to find you, I need you”. I immediately left Vegas and in a short time had sold my interest in the show (in 1999) I new this was an answer from a God I still didn’t trust. Though this I understood that show business was not what I dreamed it would be, and I left Shamanism and the Mayans and these new age stories far behind.

If I were to have moved forward and star in the show, I would have gotten everything I ever wanted but lost my connection to life and soul in the process. This is the threshold many now famous people come to and it explains why their lives are so tragic in regards to their personal relationships.

I Paid A Heavy Price

It would be years of pain and struggle to surrender to Jesus for real.  This is the hardest journey a human can make and my story shows how pathetic and hard hearted I really was.  I have never been able to “play church” living a what looks like a Christian life but still harboring major anger, animosity, jealously, envy and spiritual pride by looking down on others.

No …….for me when I was practicing that lifestyle over time….. I just went out and practiced witchcraft. Any good was through grace of God even when I didn’t trust him or honor him as God.

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

Mark 7:21-23

While I turned away from all this in 1999, It was in India in 2010 that I was completely set free from the binding of my soul with all this nonsense. The prayer from a powerful man of God in Bangalore who had spiritual authority, prayed a simple prayer,  covering me with the blood of Jesus, (which is not a popular concept in most churches today and it makes perfect sense). It’s not popular because that is where the power is to truly free someone from bondage and the darkside doesn’t want people to be free.

Rivers Rush To The Lowest Place

If you are finding it hard to be accepted by people at church please learn from this example. These are just people, sheep, but be careful of the flock and shepherd who live in fear and in living scared will crowd up and trample you and themselves over a cliff WHEN DECISIONS ARE MADE GUIDED BY FEELINGS!

I choose to react to a few knuckleheads who seriously hurt my feelings and reinforced the lies I had been told about who I really was in God’s eyes.

My feelings are what lead me out of church and straight back into drugs and witchcraft. My feelings lead me into relationships where I thought I was finding love only to be disappointed and heartbroken.  My feelings lead me to try and “get mine” and set myself as “the maker of my fate and the captain of my soul”……. Feelings lie and God does not.

This is why we focus on the leaders that God sets up in a church and literally do not listen to these negative voices. People condemn, God does not. No word from the God is destructive to a humans spirit as God’s message when understood in it’s context ALWAYS speaks of restoration and hope.

I have never met Jack Hayford in person and for years I didn’t like his teaching becuase they made me confront hard subjects I wanted to avoid.  I am forever grateful to him as I now know that this was truly a spirit lead reaction kept a small flame of faith burning in me that still carries me though to this day.

I am so excited by what I am seeing in the church today in this new move toward authenticity and the focus on healing anyone period. Just like a physical river, the river of God’s incredible love rushes to the lowest place and there are none so lost or blind who cannot be redeemed. It is the heart of God to love us and bless us in any condition.

I just want to let his river run through me and pray and consciously decide to not allow my feelings or fears to be the dam against the flow of healing and to be sure to welcome anyone no matter when they have come from. 

Remember the power is in your story, in your testimony. Never forget where you came from…

“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.  – Revelation 12:11(NASB)

“Does Anybody Hear Her”

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon’s ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She’s another two years older
And she’s three more steps behindDoes anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she’s going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away…...If judgement looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can’t see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her……………………..He is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction