Caught for the third time by the cops at age 19, Rick Buchholz knew he was going to prison but pleaded desperately to God for reprieve even as he did pushups to prepare to defend himself against the inevitable prison violence.
“I’m thinking, ‘I can’t go to prison’,” Rick says on a Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. “I remember saying, ‘God, you’ve got to help me.’ I felt the love of God. Something came down and gave me goosebumps.”
Rick got off course when his father abandoned the home when he was only 11. Rick was the youngest of six kids.
”My dad wound up getting into an affair. That really spun out our family. I was really hurt,” he recalled. “I remember looking out the window as my dad left, somehow I felt like it was my fault. I was devastated to see my dad walk away in the ark like that. I never really recovered from that.”
At a cousin’s house, Rick got snagged by pornography. The cousin had turned the garage into a pool room with pinups covering the walls and adult magazines piled everywhere.
“That wasn’t a very good place for an ll-year-old kid to spend all day,” Rick says. “That really messed with my head. My mind became messed up and perverted from a very young age.”
At the same time, Rick began stealing. He broke into a neighbor’s house, stole a jar of coins, which he buried in his yard and would use to buy from the ice cream truck that passed through the neighborhood.
His mother hooked up with an escaped convict who taught him to shoplift with brazen audacity. “He taught me everything I knew,” Ricky says. “It wasn’t so much for the money. It really was just for the thrill.”
Being encouraged to continue stealing, Rick started getting arrested for stealing. He fell in love with a high school girl, whose dad was a cop, a fact that prompted him to try to clean up his act. When she broke up with him, he despaired, filled with rage and hopelessness, and proceeded to driver his car recklessly through town. The police chased him, but he didn’t care.
Meanwhile, he heard here and there bits and pieces of Jesus. He saw “The Cross and the Switchblade” and became infatuated with the testimony of gang members getting saved. He even went to church once and accepted Jesus.
But he didn’t stop stealing and didn’t follow up with salvation. One time, he had stolen some guns, which he tried to sell. The prospective buyers turned out to be undercover cops. That was his third offense; he was 19 years old; there was no way he could avoid prison.
Miraculously, Rick walked free from the courthouse. “You would have thought I would have walked out of there and would’ve gone looking for a church,” he says. “But that didn’t happen.”… Read the rest: Rick Buchholz Pastor