OnePage “Two Things We Gotta Know”

“Two Things We Gotta Know”

After believing in God since I was five years old and after following after Christ and preaching and teaching God's Word for over forty-two years I have come to the realization of two important truths:

First: God knows everything...and I do not
Second: God always knows what is best..and I do not

At sixty-five years old these important truths, axioms etc have brought me to a new place of being humbled in God's presence and a hunger and thirst for being in His presence and bowing before Him apologizing for all of my ignorance and arrogance, bullishness and foolishness and all of my whining and complaining and grumbling against Him. To truly give Him thanks for hanging in there with me through all the good, bad and ugly times on this planet.
I hope and pray you will be comforted in knowing since God alone knows everything and what is best for us we can be assured that it is all up to Him and therefore all about Him. May I decrease and may the Lord increase in the days ahead.

“May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” 2 Corinthians 13:13 salv

Going For God's Well Done, His Grammy, His Oscar~Stephen A "Dago" Laudise

Stephen Anthony Laudise

Going For God’s Grammy "Introduction"
Born January 13, 1954 at St. Luke Hospital in Pasadena California to Patricia Ann and Ernest Theodore Laudise.

Being the first grandchild of Ernest and Lillian Laudise, I was spoiled rotten to say the least. I was also my Uncle Will and Aunt Marion Metz’s first nephew so they spoiled me as well. The first five years of my life I thought I was the only little boy on planet earth destined to become King of at least Toy Land on Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel. My Uncle Will bought me a new super hero outfit every week it seemed. One week I was Superman and the next week I was Zorro.

My father had met and fell in love with my mother in Hawaii. My dad was in the Navy and my mom lived there with her sister Mary and her husband Swede.

After I was born my parents both worked at the Hickory Hill in Los Angeles and my only living grandfather took care of me for six months every day until he passed from a bad heart in '58. He had been sent home and told to take it easy. Ernie taught me how to cuss by saying,"Ship really fast" which my grandmother did not approve of. he would scare me by telling me not to move because there was a butterfly on top of my head which my Uncle Will, a photographer in the Navy, caught on film.

My father wanted to be a jet fighter pilot so off we went to aviation school in Georgia. My parents actually got divorced because only single guys were allowed at the flight school. I actually attended their second wedding right after he graduated. It was there in Georgia when I was only five years old these ladies would come over to the house and ask my mom if I could go to their Sunday School. My mother asked me if I wanted to go and for some reason I said yes. The Sunday School was in a home and we watched movies and were taught all about how God had become a man named Jesus and left heaven to come to earth and save us from sin, death and the devil. That God wanted to take us to heaven after we died. I loved hearing about this God who loved us so much.

Dad got stationed at Saint Lukes in Arizona. My best friend Michael Wells was tickling me and I banged my face into the floor which cut my fairly brand new left front tooth in half. To save my tooth until it got bigger I had a silver crown which made me feel a little bit like Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer and was made fun of quite regularly.

My first sister, Laurel, then my second sister, Jan arrived about a year and a half later. After that we would be moving all over the place starting in Clovis New Mexico and then off to England where my twin brothers Michael and Chris were born. Needless to say my dictatorship was terminated rather quickly and I being the first born was demoted to the head baby sitter/servant of all.

My dad got orders to Lakenheath AFB in order to fly with real nuclear bombs in his F-100. This was part of a program called M.A.D. which stood for mutual... assured... destruction. The Air Force was not supportive of families at the time so my dad went ahead of us then out of his own pocket flew the four of us to England but had to live in a village called Barrow.

We had arrived on Christmas Eve 1961 and was allowed to stay in a trailer on base until we could find accommodations off base.

My dad found us a little cottage in Barrow. Our second Christmas in Barrow England my Aunt Betty sent me a Bible and since it was not a toy I thought that meant she was mad at me. Anyway I did like the pictures in it. I had prided myself in saying my prayers every single night since I was four years old. This record was broken when now at 8 years I got the German measles with a fever of 104. I was devastated.

My all time favorite gifts as a young boy living in Barrow was my toy jet fighter cockpit and a tape recorder. I just loved hearing the sound of my own voice and pretending to shoot down Mig 15’s!

My mom gave birth to twin boys along with four other mom’s giving birth to twins on the same day! The story was on the BBC where I saw her on Television!

Now I had two younger sisters and two younger brothers.

Music was really a big deal in England so I started buying 45 rpm records by saving up my allowance each week and watching Top Of The Pops and Ready Steady Go on BBC.

Living in England out in the country I had to go to an English public school in Barrow where all the boys had to wear short pants and a cap, school shirt and jacket...I looked like the lead guitarist for AC/DC before they ever existed ha!

During our summer break these missionaries were at our school and my best friend Stephen Bellchambers came back with a really cool pencil set. It was like the iPod of the sixties so I asked him how I could get me one. He gave me some verses out of the Bible to memorize. When I felt I was ready I went with him as his guest and scored a really cool pencil set just like Stephen’s. At the end of the evening the missionaries brought out a felt board (the power point of the sixties) with Jesus knocking on the door of a heart. The missionary asked us if anyone wanted to open their heart and receive Christ as their Savior? Being all of eight years old I figured if you did that maybe you would win something really big like a bike. So I did it but even though I waited and waited and was the last one there to leave I never got anything. Looking back I realized I had received the greatest gift of all, Jesus, God’s Son. But at the time I felt I had been ripped off by the missionaries and even by God Himself.

While living in Barrow I was asked if I was yank. It didn’t seem like a good thing so I told them “No! I was a rebel!” which sounded way cooler at the time and got them to leave me alone for a season.

Finally we moved closer to the base where my father was stationed in the village of Barton Mills. Again I attended another English public school for a couple of months where once again I was called a yank and a wee bit too popular at this school with the local girls.

Finally, I got to go to school on the base with all the other base kids. My best friend Gerald Green asked me if I would like to sing the church boys choir. I answered,”Why?”Gerald responded with,”They pay us.” I auditioned and got in. Every practice on Thursday you made threepence and every Sunday you you made another threepence. Every six weeks we got paid. This was strictly mad candy money and the British knew a lot about candy. Because Gerald and I were so close he would invite me to the annual Church outing at Lowestoff one year and Brighton another year. This was only my third experience with religion and church. After moving back to the States I really did not go to church or anything (both my parents were God-fearing people but since
my mother was a Catholic and my dad was an Italian Baptist we did not attend church except for an occasional wedding). I was seven when we first moved to England and eleven years old when we moved back to the good old USA.

My father went back to school at the University of Wyoming in Laramie to earn a college degree (Back in the day pilots in the Air Force did not need a college education but that was then and this is now )
Thinking we would be there a couple of years my folks bought a brand new home there. Our home was in the area nicknamed “Snob Hill” by the locals. I got a paper route delivering the Denver Post and got my first taste of having some real money beyond a weekly allowance. Even though my parents made the greatest sacrifices like: never getting a Sunday paper; hearing me moan and groan when the alarm clock went off at 0430 (still pitch black outside!) my parents graciously let me keep all the money I earned. Thanks Mom and Dad! After a year there my dad got orders to Vietnam.

Our family thought it would be best if we were near my mom’s family in Santa Rosa California in case my father was killed in action... off we went. We lived right next door to my Aunt Mary and my Uncle Swede (also a fighter pilot in the Marines stationed at Kaneohe Marine Corp Air Station in the fifties) They had helped raise my mom till she graduated Roosevelt High School in Hawaii in 1953.

I had two cousins Linda and Barry who were really cool towards me. (I had a secret crush on Linda) My other cousin from my Aunt Edith had a girl named Diane ( also had a secret crush on her as well) and two boys, Gerry and James.

James became my best friend but we fought like cats and dogs!

I also had another cousin Barney from my Aunt Bernie and Uncle Bud who took me under his wing to Bodega Bay and the Tides Restaurant and got me interested in surfing which I will be forever grateful. He also got me to trade in the Beatles and the Kinks (my favorite bands while living in England) for the Rolling Stones...from 45's to Lp's.

But it was also here that I started drinking alcohol as a seventh grader. I would go to bed at night and cry thinking that my dad might get killed. After about six months of that I wrote my dad off and acted as if I never had a dad so I could protect myself in case of the worse case scenario.

I will never forget when my mom bought me my first portable stereo record player and an electric guitar. I fooled around with them every chance I got.

After my father’s first tour in Vietnam (a little more than a year) was over we left Santa Rosa and were back in Laramie Wyoming but not in Snob Hill but in the older part of the town near the University. My dad needed to finish getting his degree in engineering which he changed for a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics. It was cool moving back and looking up old friends and finding out that I could even whip the bully that pushed me around just two years earlier.

Didn’t do much regarding music since we were there only about six months. But since Laramie was basically a college town there were concerts held out in the streets every so often with live bands doing the Doors. I thought it was really cool to see a live band playing in the streets.

My neighbor and best friend Donnie had musical equipment set up in his basement. Fully loaded for a live band they even had strobe lights too.

There was not a lot to do for eighth graders in Laramie so we got into a lot of trouble throwing crab apples from the roofs of the houses in the summer and then snow balls in the winter and water balloons off the eleventh story of one of the dorm buildings on campus... could have killed someone.

After my dad received his degree we went back to Nellis AFB “Home of the Thunderbirds” where this time because of my father’s rank we had base housing. (Note: My dads first time at Nellis we lived in a trailer park where I encountered my first bully when he was eight and I was five years old..There was this little club house and I needed to get home before dark and this kid put a bullet on a shelf aimed at me and said the moment I moved the sun would ignite the bullet and shoot and kill me...I finally got the nerve up and ran home.)

Base housing was really cool because I got to get closer to other base kids who really understood what it was like to grow up in a military family. This was the time I traded the Rolling Stones for Jimi Hendrix and psychedelic lights and my first romance with the opposite sex.

I formed my first band “Ice” and we played in the El Dorado Parade which was a pretty big deal (for a bunch of eighth graders anyway). I was infatuated with this girl who was a Catholic. She used to live on base but they bought a home on the far side of town. I would go to mass and a young people’s group just so I could see her more often.

I had gotten my first guitar in Santa Rosa at 11 years old but the action was so high it was better to use it to shoot arrows off of it instead of playing it as an instrument.

Initially at about six years old I loved vocalists and drummers. (I really loved the saxophone as well but could not make a sound on it so I quit sax before even getting started)

...until I heard Jimi Hendrix play on the radio at 14 years old. Hendrix’s over driven guitar sounded like a saxophone so right away I bought another guitar from the PX for $28.50 and the action made it really simple to play. (You know you need the right tool for the right job otherwise you tend to think that you are just a goof when in reality you just needed the right tool)

From Las Vegas NV we went to Norfolk Virginia so my dad could attend the Armed Forces Staff College where they were grooming my dad and other creme of the crop military officers to eventually become high ranking officers down the road. We were only there for six months but I managed to start a band and even get some paying gigs at our teen club. Not good enough to play guitar yet I was the leader and lead singer.

From Las Vegas NV we went to MacDill AFB in Tampa Florida. I purchased my first Public Address System and put a band together. I cannot remember if we had a name or not or even played anywhere outside of Doug, our guitarist’s, garage. I really liked Doug because he had just come from living in Hawaii. I would love it when he described what it was like living in Hawaii while his dad was stationed there for three years. We got a gig at our Leto High School as long as we did it for free. It was then that I asked God if I could play and record ten albums during my lifetime.

My father got another tour in Vietnam but this time we stayed in Tampa until he finished his tour. I really got serious about the guitar and washed dishes and was a busboy long enough to buy a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. I figured I had better learn to play it or look really foolish owning such a fine instrument. I did notice that I started getting some respect just for owning it ha! If that was the case what would happen if I could also play it?

It was in Tampa that I got another taste of religion. We use to go to mass on a Sunday when I spent the night with my best friend David. Partying Saturday night but then Sunday morning we would get all cleaned up and dressed up be to holy for about an hour. I figured I didn’t really need religion if that was all there was to it. I mean I also dressed up for Halloween once a year and never really turned into the character I portrayed that evening. Anyway it seemed silly to pretend for an hour that I was a good person.

From Tampa FL we were finally stationed in Hawaii which was really cool since I always heard about the islands from my mom while growing up. We were living in a TLA (temporary living accommodations) when I was suppose to go to Castle High School. Even before attending class there I began to hear stories about "Kill Hauole Day." This was the last day of school when the locals were to beat up all the white kids. I also heard the story that a teacher had been knifed to death because he gave a bad grade to a student.

Anyway I pretended to go to Castle each day and went swimming instead at the apartment housing hotel we were staying at. From Kaneohe we would always drive to the Kaneohe Marine Corp Air Station to shop at the base's Commissary and PX. We also drove to Kailua Beach and Oh how I dreamed my folks would eventually find a house in Kailua. Sure enough my folks did find a home in Aikahi Park in Kailua and where I would be attending Kailua High School home of the "SurfRiders!"

Not exactly sure after we landed in Honolulu on Valentines night 1971 when we drove to the West Side of Oahu to Makaha Beach. I returned with some buddies of mine. I tried to body surf there and was rescued by the lifeguard and world famous waterman Buffalo Keaulana. Not use to the size and power of the West Shore which originally held the world champion surfing contests even before the North Shore was discovered.

Thanks to Buffalo and is Hui (gang) the world tour was moved to the North Shore and the West Side was relieved of becoming the surfing mecca and circus of the surfing world.

Of course, in my humble opinion, the westside still hosts some of the best waves in the world and does hold the Makaha Point Challenge whenever the point starts breaking consistently over twenty foot faces.
Also the world famous Buffalo Big Board Surfing Classic contest every February. Rell Sunn's Keiki (child) surfing contest is held at Makaha Beach there every year.

Na Kama Kai was started by World Longboard Champion Duane Desoto and held at Pokai Bay. Now it is hosted at Pokai Bay and seven other locations around the island Of O'ahu every second Sunday of the month.
These are Ocean clinics held free of charge to all keikis 2-18 years old. Duane, along with His father Manny and his uncles Bruce and Ronald are also are the famous Desoto Waterman Ohana that I along wit many others get to hang with as volunteers of Na Kama Kai.

It was when I was attending Kailua High School in 1971 I believe I was exposed to a real Christian for the first time. His name was Daryl Arita. He was a really hot drummer. He told me his testimony that before believing in and following Christ he was drinker and a doper. I could not believe it. We put a band together and played teen clubs and military clubs for money till we graduated. I had met a young girl there in the summer before my senior year and we went steady through my senior year. Her dad was in the Marines and he got orders to North Carolina. I decided then that I did not want to be serious with a girl ever again but just wanted to focus all my energy on playing music.

Later through my friendship with another really hot drummer named Barry Andrews I landed a gig playing guitar with all these older guys who ruled the military circuit at the time. I was only seventeen and they were sneaking me into the clubs on the weekends during my senior year at Kailua High School. This was really cool to be respected by these older more seasoned players. I learned a lot from them. Man it was really something to be respected by people just because you were a guitar player and singer and actually played in a working band. I thought I had discovered my philosophy for life: Be a musician and all other things shall be added unto you.
I finally got a fat head and threatened to leave the band if they did not let me 1) play my guitar as loud as I wanted and 2) let me out of having to purchase 25% of the PA system we used at all our gigs that did not have one. They would not back down so I just did not show up at our next gig. I came out a little buzzed with some friends of mine to see how they were sucking without me but they al- ready had another guitar player and were doing just fine without me.

Finally put my own band together where I was the lead guitarist and lead singer so I pretty much got to call the shots and all the pressure that come with it. We did the military circuit and teen clubs and just about any other gig you could imagine. Like I said earlier Darrell the drummer in my band was the first real Christian I had ever met. There was something so different about him.

He hung out with the Jesus freaks at our school during the Jesus movement in the early seventies. It was like he had a personal relationship with God through his faith in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately after high school he went to the mainland to go to school and we lost touch. But his influence on my life still stands even today more than forty years later.
First Miracle
My father got orders for Thailand and I remember praying that his orders would change so that my younger brothers would not be without their father during their formative years. My dad would be gone, and their big brother would be gone at the same time since I had no desire to leave Hawaii. I was eighteen and ready to be on my own. Now you have to realize that once orders are cut that it is usually impossible for them to change. I really prayed about this and they did change and I believe that was the first miracle I ever experienced.

Met a great male vocalist “JJ” and started a new band called
“The New Directions”. Once at a rehearsal a vice squad team came and raided us. Most of the band members were all eighteen years old and we thought it was really cool and appropriate for musicians to be put in jail for a narcotics charge which, believe it or not, we were innocent, really innocent, this time. Found out that our lead singer was also a pimp and was using the band as a front to his real business. He offered me a chance become a partner but after I went there one night to say “Yes” there were bullet holes all through his home just from the night before. The local syndicate wanted a cut of his business and my friend had refused. No one was hurt but I decided against becoming a partner for at least the time being.

After playing music all over the place while living with my friend the pimp and just doing drugs and girls and alcohol I got the great idea to join the army to help settle me down and focus on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.. After a very short stint in the US Army ( I had tried to kill myself and ended up getting a General discharge under honorable conditions) I got back to the islands and I could not find a band that needed a guitar player. The only thing I could find was a band that needed a vocalist so I auditioned and got the role of lead vocalist for the band "Wakeland" then Kyle Hepler. It was formed by two really young but super gifted musicians Mike Firis and Karl Wakeland. “Kyle Hepler” was the name of the drummer Sonny’s cat but we all thought it sounded cool. We played under two different names “Wakeland” and “Kyle Hepler” so we could work for two different agents and therefore get more working gigs to help pay the bills.

A manager got interested in us and offered his services and took us out one by one. He told each of us that we were the main attraction in the band. Little did we know that now we each thought we were the secret sauce and so he took control by playing us one against the other. Funny, as afar as I know, the only guy that had red flags, bad feeling in his gut, Na'Au, about the manager was the only one that continued to work for him for many years after the rest of us left the band one by one.

During my stint with Kyle Hepler aka Wakeland in July 1974 I got smitten and fell in love, with a young beautiful local girl and within a year we were married on October 7, 1975. We were so in love and in the beginning it looked like we would last forever. The next year I was getting tired of just being a singer and by this time our band at the bidding of the manager who by this time had an iron grip on us all, changed us so much. I started sneaking off on our Monday off night to jam guitar with anyone I could.
Second Miracle
Then all of a sudden my voice quit working. I mean there was no physical reason at all. I had a physician and a shrink and all they advised me to do was start taking some valium and or smoke a joint so I could chill out and not be so stressed out. Now what was I gonna do? I decided to put another band together using my wife‘s brother Harold on drums and my best friend from high school Mune on the bass. After practicing and becoming tight we began auditioning singers since I still could not sing. One day after auditioning a female singer, who was a real pre-madonna, both Mune and Harold looked at me and asked if I could just sing a little. I remember praying to God and asking Him if I could have my voice back...just a little bit.. enough to get by on. You know what? All of a sudden I could sing, just a little bit, but it was enough to get us by. This was my second miracle.

Our band was called Chameleon and Snake Oil and we did the military circuit since I still had connections with a couple of previous agents who still had some faith in me. After just one year our band “Snake Oil” aka “Chameleon” caught the attention of some promoters who wanted to get behind us and one other local band. The backers were from New York and to get noticed as rock bands from Hawaii was very unusual. What should have done it for me was not happening and I really did not know what to do. Here was my dream coming true right before my eyes and I felt so unfulfilled and empty inside.
Third Miracle
Things were going well for the band but my marriage was going down the tubes. Since we were both so young, she was 17 and I was 21, when we first got married, the insecurity and jealousy was off the richter scale. After eleven months we separated and were just waiting for a court date to make things final. The weird thing was I was numb and had no more feelings, good, bad, or weird. Maybe I was just depressed and did not know it.
Little did I know that my wife had been praying for us all the time and actually called an old mutual friend to come over and share the Good News with us. I still do not know why I agreed but I did and this guy Bill (who I use to cut college classes with at Windward Community just to get stoned) came over and I don’t remember a thing he said. All I do know is it was like waking up from a bad dream and I looked at my wife and just fell in love with her all over again. This was my third miracle.

Now I had to know more about God, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. After all the guy upstairs seemed to be watching over me all these years and He had already done three miracles just for me!

My friend, Bill, who had come over that first night would come to our band practices and just hang out with me. He would answer any questions I had and turned me on to going to church on Sunday mornings and evenings and even Wednesday evenings. It was working for him so monkey see, monkey do. Little did I know that I was becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ which was so much more than just believing in Him and crying out to Him only when I needed another miracle.

Jesus had always been with me ever since that day I asked him into my heart back in England. I had truly received the greatest gift of all, God’s one and only Son! Everything became centered in a personal relationship with God through my faith in His Son. I had trusted Christ for fire insurance when I was eighteen but had no idea that God had a wonderful plan for my life. All I had to do was choose to walk and talk honestly with Him day by day, moment by moment.

After surrendering to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, maybe just two weeks into it, Dawn and me got into one of the biggest fights we had ever had. I ended up giving her a black eye and was convinced that even God had deserted me. I mean even I wanted to bag on myself but everywhere I went, there I was! I decided to end it all and took a knife and went down the street to Kainalu Elementary school where I planned to stab myself to death. I was on my knees crying out to God and all of a sudden a peace came over me and I heard a still small voice like that of a loving father that said, “Go back home and make up with your wife.” The amazing thing is I did just that. That whole evening Dawn and I just sat on our living room floor and God by His Spirit taught us about the enemy of our souls. Sure we had become friends of God through who Jesus was and did by dying on the cross to take away our sins...but now we had a real enemy, the devil himself. No wonder things were getting crazy again, especially as we were getting closer and closer to God and choosing to walk in His plans for our lives. I mean Dawn and I were famous for fighting even in public. What if all of a sudden God saved our marriage and those who were watching us thought that maybe God could and would help them too? That must have really made the enemy of our souls angry and he was trying to snuff out this brand new life in God before it could even get off the ground.

Well there is a verse in the Bible that says, “Greater is He who is in you, than he that is in the world.” Thank God for that. I mean how else can we defeat the devil who has been lying, deceiving and destroying mankind for the past six thousand years? The Bible also says the the Son of God came that He might destroy the works of the devil. Now please do not turn me off just because I am quoting Bible verses...I am just telling my story, my journey from religion to philosophy to a personal relationship with the living God. I trust that the very reason you are even reading this is because God is already at work in you drawing you to himself just like He did with Dawn and me.

I call this personal relationship the third option, the God option. Over and over and over again I have been faced with three options when facing difficult decisions. The one is to be religious about it (My way or the Highway) or the second one is to be philosophical about it (Whatever will be will be) or the third option to be relational about it. Dealing with a boss or employee, spouse or one of your children or a neighbor or a close friend you will always have just these three options. The religious way is being like a hitler (my way or the highway)....the philosophical way is being like a Doris Day (whatever will be will be)...but the relational way is being like Jesus. You know treating someone the way you would like to be treated.

One of the best antidotes I have found to help me to choose the third option is when I discovered how God felt about me. I knew He loved me but it blew me away when I learned that He liked me. I mean I think everyone knows that God loves them, He has to, He’s God and God is love! But when I learned that God liked me and enjoyed my company that floored me in the best possible way.

Sometimes I forget that God is a person and I find myself getting religious even with God Himself. Sounds crazy but I have fell into that way of dealing with God as if he is just a swimming pool rule sign with “No running, no splashing, no making noise, etc.”
God is a person, a holy person but He is still a person with feelings, hopes and dreams. Why do you think we have hopes and dreams? God put them inside of us and is using them to draw us into a personal relationship with Him. My dream was to marry a beautiful woman and have a family and be rich and famous too. Are dreams evil? I think the dreams are cool its just letting God partner with you in bringing them to pass. If God gave us the dreams in the first place wouldn’t it make sense that He has some plan in bringing them to pass? That there is some purpose behind these dreams, from God, is seen all throughout the Bible. For example Adam, Moses, Joseph, Jesus, you and me. Now already many of you may be thinking that there is only room in the winners circle for just a select few. I am not talking about the winners circle here in this world. I am talking about God’s winner circle where there is room for every single one of God’s precious children. I mean we are going to rule and reign with Jesus throughout eternity. We are royalty in the King’s court. In the meantime we learn how to serve one another in love using all that we are and have from God.

Using my recordings I share with you my journey from religion to philosophy to a personal relationship with the Living God through faith in His Son and by the power of His Holy Spirit:

Chapter 1 “Reject or Receive Him”

Now remember I am just a brand new Christian who has learned that everyone on the planet is either in Christ or not. If you are not in Christ then you are in the Anti-Christ gang which is against Christ or has something instead of Christ like money or religion or some kind of philosophy that it worships and relies on for success in this world. According to the Bible we are all lost in our sins and dead in our trespasses with the wrath of God hanging over us. But God also so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son to save us not condemn us. Save us from what? Being possessed by the spirit who is at work in all those who are disobedient to God and His Commands. I know that is hard to take but if you really want to get well you have to know how sick you are and what disease is consuming your health, wealth and mind. I remember when agreeing to have my friend Bill come over and explain the Good News to us I heard a voice in my head saying “You don’t need that! Call him back and cancel the appointment!'

Even after Dawn and I surrendered to the Lordship of Christ we immediately experienced the worst fight of our lives as I mentioned earlier. Why was the next lesson Christ taught us after revealing God is love and loved us and had a wonderful plan for our lives one about the enemy of our souls? I guess its knowledge that is really important to God that we understand and know it for our own benefit as well as for God’s glory. Needless to say I was very black and white and my first record displayed it to the uttermost. I still believe we have only 2 choices 1) to reject or 2) receive who Christ is the Son of God what Christ did by dying on the cross in our place two thousand years ago and be saved from the wrath of God that is coming upon this earth.

Chapter 2 “Love Call”

After experiencing the love and forgiveness of God for a couple of years it really hit me that God loves everyone just as much as He loves me. This seemed especially relevant starting with my very own family, friends and neighbors. They needed to hear the Good News. That God loved them and had a wonderful plan for their lives. Again it seemed easier and more effective to sing about it then to talk about it so I wrote and recorded my second record “Love Call”. Since it was a record with me on it they all at least listened to it out of their love for me..
Chapter 3 “Free To Love”
Several more years had passed and I was struggling with the kindness and sternness of God. Kindness to those who walked in His mercy and harshness to those who did not. Finally I understood that God set us free to love and serve one another rather than to just go crazy doing whatever, whenever. Freedom and love together in God is so much different than the free love I saw and experienced growing up. As hippies we would get stoned and love our neighbor all right...especially our friends girlfriend so as to even have babies out of wedlock and think it was all so cool. In Christ however, our freedom is given so that we treat others the way we want to be treated. Then we are truly and righteously fulfilling the entire law of God summed up in the command, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor.

Chapter 4 “Living in the Last Days”

The first three records were all accomplished as a power trio with just Guitar- myself, Bass-Frank and Drums-Bill. At an outreach concert that a young youth leader put together, Dan, at Faith Baptist Church, a close friend of the band Jay brought is brother Greg to check us out and later joined our trio to make it a quartet with keyboards along with Greg’s incredible talent, voice and writing ability.
We called it ”Daystar” which is one of the many wonderful names of the Lord Jesus. There was a lot of wars and rumors of wars and we sensed that Matthew 24 was upon us so we sounded the warning trumpet with our next offering “Living In The Last Days”. The temptation to be religious or philosophical or relational faced me each and every day. Unfortunately sometimes I would slip into the ditch of religion or philosophy and then cry out to Jesus to rescue me which He did every single time.

Chapter 5 “Undeserved Mercy” (Stephen Anthony, Keith Winston, Jimmy Allioto, Anthony Dallago and Greg Liu)

My very first solo record was accomplished with the writing and musical talents of four very close friends, Greg Liu on keyboards and Keith Winston on vocals and bass and the incredible talents of guitarist Anthony Dallago and drummers Jimmy Allioto and special guest William David Youngs on "Highways". Greg had played with me in the Band Daystar and Keith and I had formed a power trio along with Jimmy called “Tight Reign" aka "Left Hand” since all three of us were left handed.

Grace means undeserved mercy it’s like mercy upon mercy or double mercy. Mercy has been defined as not getting what you should get in the way of judgment and double mercy is going beyond that and receiving an eternal reward you should not have received. Believe it or not that is what the Good News regarding Jesus Christ offers. This record was my favorite because of the other song writers contributions. Keith wrote five of the songs, me four and Greg one making ten really strong songs. It was kinda ahead of its time back in 1983 but in 2007 it would resurrect by being discovered by a brand new generation and audience thanks to our two youngest daughters Rebekah and Danielle.

Chapter 6 “It’s True” by Red to White (Greg Liu, Harold Kuha, Vic Solt, Mua)

Red to White was Greg’s idea based on the revelation we were experiencing in our local church. It was called the Kailua Church and every week our Pastor Ray would give the opportunity for folks to hear the Good news and receive what Jesus did for them personally. He also always offered those of us who knew Christ and who were fumbling and bumbling, maybe even all out rebelling against God’s will for our lives, to come back and get things right again. I could not believe it until I read in Isaiah 1:18 where God is speaking with His people that have turned against Him. God says, “Come let’s reason together. Though your sins and rebellious acts be as scarlet they shall be whiter than snow. Though you are stained with your sin you shall be whiter than fresh fallen snow.” This was mind boggling because I already knew God loved those who were lost and dead in their sins. I was one of them! But that He continued to love His people even when they did not love Him back was so intense. Those of us who were following after Christ were still messing up along the way and sometimes we felt that we had blown our second chance with God and there was nothing left but back to facing His judgement. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgives us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That is in 1 John chapter 1 verse 9. Cleanse us from all unrighteousness means that God will even renew our minds that got us into trouble in the first place. Stinkin’ thinkin’ SNL called it.

When anyone comes to Jesus they all start off as a baby in Christ and then little by little put away the childish things and become mature and complete lacking nothing. Man we took this message packaged in our band and even played back in the clubs especially the Kaneohe’s Enlisted men’s club. This was during the Lebanon crisis and we just had to tell the Good news to the guys and gals that were going to have to risk their lives in this conflict. We were by God’s amazing grace actually leading them to Christ during our breaks!

A small part of our church freaked out cause we were using the church van to go to our gigs and they thought it was a bad witness for folks to see The Kailua Church Van parked outside the E-Club on base. This about destroyed our band cause the last thing we wanted to do was stumble our fellow believers. We disbanded and went our separate ways some of us really turned off from the church and religion.

Chapter 7 “ Be Strong and Take Heart” by Stephen Anthony

“In view of God’s mercy offer your bodies as living sacrifices to God. Let Him transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know by experience how good and pleasing and perfect God’s will really is.” Man that is Romans chapter 12 but you have to read the first 11 chapters that come before it to really understand and fully appreciate it. In view of His mercy means that as believers in Christ we live our lives in front of God’s throne of grace. Before that we were living before His throne of judgment.

This encouraged me to become a missionary with the Waikiki Beach Chaplaincy from 1985-1987. The Kailua Church sent me out with $400 a month and that was a lot of money back then. We had to raise at least half of our support before joining with this para church organization. Para just means to come along side of. It was cool for me cause I really wanted to see lost boys and girls coming to Christ after hearing the Good news that God loved them and had a great plan for their lives and then heaven as retirement!

Chapter 8 “Take Me Back To My First Love”

I had been a missionary for several months and the honeymoon like feeling had evaporated. I was pulling weeds in my yard in Kaneohe and sometimes I would just pull up the top portion and the roots would break off below. I sensed the Lord telling me the root of my present problems and situations was that I had left my first love with Jesus. Sure I was serving Him full time as a missionary with the Waikiki Beach Chaplaincy but I was not in love with God like I had been in the early days. I began writing songs and approached Pierre Grill at RendezVous Recording and he agreed to produce me since I had no money besides my support which was taking care of Dawn, Melissa and Rebekah and me.

Chapter 9 “Wait On The Lord” by Stephen Anthony

While a chaplain I got back into the prisons and onto secular radio which the Chaplaincy had no problems with at all. We even had our main service on the beach every Sunday morning in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It was a wonderful time but my family and I were feeling the need for a local church after our third year. Dawn and our girls were still attending the Kailua Church but I was gone every Sunday doing evangelism outreach in Waikiki. I heard about the church that my drummer Jimmy from Left hand had turned me onto years ago had a Friday evening worship service. That seemed really radical to me at the time but it was practical and made a way for my family to all go back to church together. While attending Hope Chapel Kaneohe on Friday eves and Dawn and the girls at the Kailua Church on Sundays and me in Waikiki it seemed silly to be stretched out all over the island on Sundays. So Dawn would send our oldest daughter Melissa to help me with the early am Chapel service and then Dawn would come with our two other daughters, Holly and Rebekah, to join with us at the Waikiki Beach Chaplaincy beach service. This caused some hurt at our local church where we had been attending and growing up in the Lord for the past 10 years. I left the chaplaincy and became the chaplain at our school based in our local church. For a year I wrestled with the idea of having a church that was a hybrid of our local church and the Waikiki Beach Chaplaincy.

Chapter 10 “Beauty Out Of Ashes”

During this time of my walk with the Lord I discovered the resurrection power of Jesus was available on a daily basis especially after I would totally blow it with my wife by not listening to that still small voice that would try and warn me to not say that or do that but say this or do that instead.

Chapter 11 “Love Never Fails” 1987

After trying everything under the sun I would finally just love the person and everything usually transformed the situation, other person, and myself. As I was walking to my office in Waikiki I thought I heard the Lord ask me what I wanted. I answered, “ Lord you have been so good to my and my family I wish I could help other families get to know You and be blessed by You.” I went to work and forgot all about it.
Several months later this Pastor Michael called me to set up a meeting with me. I agreed and at the meeting he asked me if I wanted to help him pastor his church Aikahi Christian Fellowship at Aikahi Elementary School. Now I lived at 62 Aikahi Park Loop while attending Kailua High so this was very interesting to me. I was a rebel in those days and one night after drinking we were doing donuts out in the school’s field and my own dad called the cops on us! Anyway he told me there would only be medical and dental from the church for our support with no salary. I would have to raise my own salary for rent, food, and transportation etc. He asked me to pray about it with Dawn.
I went home thinking Dawn would no way want me to do this after we were finally settled in the Chaplaincy with faithful steady supporters. Guess what? She said yes. I really started praying about it! Our family had been attending Hope Chapel Kaneohe’s Friday night service since that was the only way we could worship as a family while at the Chaplaincy. And I was also leading a Hope Kaneohe mini church at the home of a Waikiki Beach Chaplaincy family whose parents I had served with. I asked Ralph since Hope Chapel Kaneohe had been supporting so faithfully and Ralph said yes. My mini church was basically made up up people who had been burned by a local church but trusted me as their friend. When I asked Ralph what should I do with my mini church he said to take them with me if they were willing to go.
By August 1988 I was over along with my family and mini church at Aikakhi Christian Fellowship as one of three assisting pastors to Michael. On Mothers Day in 1989 during the service I was preaching for Mike and the Lord told my wife Dawn that he was going make me into a pastor. She never said a word about it to me. The very next Tuesday Mike dropped the bomb on me (the other two assisting pastors had already come and gone) that the Lord was calling him and his family back to the mainland. He felt that the Lord wanted me to take over the church. Our church was independent at the time and I agreed only if Mike would allow us to become Hope Chapel Kailua under the supervision of Pastor Ralph. He agreed and we both went to Ralph and by September 1989 we had our first service as Hope Chapel Kailua.
With me as the pioneer pastor (since they treated us as a brand new pioneer church) the new adventure was off and running.

Chapter 12 “Trust In Love”

Since love is the main deal and God is love this revelation was pretty self explanatory but it slips away when we start getting religious and or philosophical with people and situations. I mean as a pastor you are knee deep in the people business. Plus I was so ignorant and arrogant I thought that people only came to church because they loved Jesus. When I discovered their insecurities and fears my own were revealed loud and clear as well. That made for a fine mess.

Chapter 13 “Earthquake Praise”

This revelation came out of the frustration we all sometimes experience even though we are not doing anything wrong. Paul and Silas were in prison for setting a young slave girl free. Around midnight they started singing praises to God and an earthquake came and their chains were broken. The jailer was going to kill himself but Paul assured him the prisoners were all still accounted for. Paul goes to the jailers house and leads the entire family to Jesus Christ and baptizes them. Wow! No instruments just voices in a prison cell. So I did a simple praise record with tunes the Lord had been giving me here and there. Little did I know that I would end up taking a few copies to Fiji because of my friendship with an on fire born again lawyer named Michael Hughes. There in Fiji during three music missions, God used it powerfully to minister to several local pastors there and especially to a young pastor named Joel who had been struggling and was greatly encouraged by my earthquake praise songs.

Chapter 14 “Help Each Other”

My daughter Holly sketched me a picture of a big person helping a little person to get a drink of water. The revelation was so simple and straight forward. Big kids should be helping the little kids. Older Christians should be helping the younger ones.

Chapter 15 “You Are The Work Of His Hands”

Although the original title was “Heal Our Hearts” I went along with the exec producer Tom and producer Ralph Stover and changed the name to “You Are The Work Of His Hands”. This record originally came about after I finally listened to my wife about doing the very best recording with the very best musicians and the very best songs. Even if I had to go to the mainland to accomplish that. I had been doing a lot of stuff with Tom Brock of Wave Of Life Ministries and had played guitar for Viola, from Sweden, an artist Tom was helping to launch at the time.

Chapter 16 Stephen Anthony An The Boys Home ”With You There's Mercy"

This came about after I had been crying about not doing the prison ministry for the boys and girls homes in Kailua. I remember God telling me that the whole planet was the girls and boys home full of lost boys and girls that God created and wanted to recreate in Christ Jesus. This really excited me so I approached Harold, my brother in law, to play drums and Rodger Douglas to play bass. Both had helped me earlier in the prison gigs years way back and they totally loved the idea. After we formed theboyshome we went on tour to Sweden and England. We even recorded a live album “With You There's Mercy” at the Estelle Beat Company thanks to the graciousness of Kevin & Jaci Stagg in Brighton. Earlier, I had had the privilege of signing off on their marriage license after Tom Brock performed their wedding ceremony out at the Makaha Inn Resort and Country Club. I also sang a tune at their ceremony and Kevin liked my voice. He made me an offer that the next time I was performing in England he would love to record a couple of tracks for me.

Chapter 17 “Bang” by Explodingface

In 2005 My daughter Holly who had been singing with me in worship and various other gigs asked me to start a band and produce a record for her. She loved the name, explodingface, one of the zillion band names I had joked about while attending Kailua High School. When I really get into soloing on my guitar I end up making all these contortions on my face like it’s gonna explode or something. Again out of relationships with Tom and Viola I was re- introduced to Ralph Stover a producer originally based in Los Angeles and now relocated in Sacramento who had produced “You Are The Work Of His Hands” for me back in 1999.

Chapter 18 “Traitor's Heart” Single from Somebody aka Stephen Anthony and Holly Lewis

You know how the “winner’s circle” only accommodates a rare few people? It does not matter if we are talking about car racing, rock artists, TV and or movie celebrities even Olympic gold medalists. Only a few can be in the circle at one time. All the rest are trying their best to be somebody. But every single man, woman and child are already in God’s winner circle for He created us in His image. Not only that God also desires to recreate us in Christ Jesus to be His sons and daughters. Imagine being a son or daughter of the Most High God? When someone hears that God loves them and sent His Son Jesus to save them not condemn them they are born again. God actually sends the Spirit of His Son into their hearts and they can call God, “Abba Father!” which in English means “Dad- dy, daddy!” Does that blow your mind or what? Almighty God as your heavenly Father. The all seeing, all knowing, all present One...King of Kings, Lord of Lords etc etc. Don’t we join gangs, clubs, surf giant waves, jump off buildings and scramble to the top of some industry or company just hoping to be somebody?

Chapter 19 “Dark Night Of The Soul” by Imagodei

Well this takes us in my story towards the present day. After turning the church over to my associate on April 3. 2016 I prepared to return to my music ministry. The plans of mice and men...Previously on March 24, 2016 I had surgery to repair a damaged spleen, hernia and remove a tumor and part of my transverse colon so as to check for colon cancer. The complications after the surgery we did not even notice until I went surfing with now the Lead Pastor of Hope KailuaJC Lewis the end of May 2016. Falling off my board I felt like I was drowning because I could not take a breath. I went to my doctor and he sent me to a pulmonologist. For the next six months I went under every test possible only to find that my phrenic nerve was damaged. The two phrenic nerves on the right and the left side controls our two diaphragms which control the five lopes of our lungs. Basically, I was told that there was nothing more to do. I was devastated. I began to question God and His plan for my life. God seemed silent. I began to become despondent and bitter. I could go into the water but had to be sure that I never went deeper than waist high....could not even lie in a bathtub with the overwhelming feeling of drowning. Dawn kept trying to reassure me with, "God is not going to leave you like this." I just could not buy it especially as I kept going over my entire life focusing on every single mistake I had ever made, over and over and over again.

Chapter 20 “With You There’s Mercy”

After being released from my specialist the end of November 2016 I went to surf anyway but just at flat island where if I did fall off my board it was only waist deep and could just stand up. After catching a few manini kine waves I sensed God the Father telling me to paddle out and check out the real kine waves breaking at Mid-Pacs on the outer reef. I believed it was God and so I obeyed. After sitting in the channel for several minutes I sensed God saying go and catch one. After my first wave I was beginning to believe that God miraculously healed me. After my second wave I fell of my board swam to the surface and it felt like I could breathe normally again....Maybe I was wrong and that God had not forsaken me nor abandoned me? To be sure I paddled in and grabbed my dive gear and porpoised dived half way to Popoia aka flat Island and back. I could not believe it.

Funny thing after I was healed physically I became very depressed. This is not uncommon according to a dear friend of mine who was a battalion commander. He told me a story regarding men coming back from deployment being on their guard for two weeks then finally feeling safe relaxed and having post traumatic stress syndrome became very depressed. In February 2017 Dawn and me were celebrating our 42nd anniversary of me telling her I loved her on Valentines Day 1975. First we went and stayed in Duvauchelle Bay which was named after Dawn's Great Great Grandfather for eight days. Then we drove up to Nelson where we would stay for another week. After staying in Nelson for several days we discovered the beautiful town of Picton about two hours away by car. We decided to stay the night before returning to our home in Nelson on Sunday. The two towns were separated by a mountain. It was Saturday March 4 and I had a commitment to minister on the worship team at Stephen's Community Church in Nelson NZ on Sunday March 5 at 0930.
Instead of Dawn and me having to leave dark-thirty Sunday am I decided to drive back at 1 in the morning taking a short cut over the mountain catch some sleep in Nelson from 2:30-8am all the while letting Dawn sleep in at our Picton place. After helping to lead worship I would drive back and Dawn and me could milk the rest of Sunday in Picton and take our time returning to Nelson, maybe even spend another night in Picton. The plans of mice and men...Driving the winding road up for an hour and then heading down the mountain I suddenly became exhausted and ended up falling asleep at the wheel and totaled the car. A baker heading for Nelson found me and pushed my car off the main road so as not to cause anymore accidents. I think he was an angel. In short the accident jolted me out of my depression and after reporting everything to the proper authorities caught 40 winks at our Nelson place and then hitch-hiked to the church in Nelson. After ministering there I got a ride to the airport where I got us another car. I was getting ready to head back to Picton to pick up Dawn. When I told her about the accident she decided I had done enough driving and was to rest and wait for her to return to Nelson by a personal taxi. She had met an incredible lady who offered to drive her back to Nelson for nothing....another angel? Anyway Dawn would not have any of that. She would hire this lady to drive her back to Nelson which she indeed did.
When I told Dawn I was no longer depressed she would not believe me and insisted that when we get back home I would see someone. Which I did in June 2017 and after two sessions I went berserk with anger and lashed out at everyone family, friends and even neighbors.

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