My Name is Jeff Hughes, I’m a biker. I’m the only one who rides in my family. I always was the black sheep of the family when growing up. I was the rebellious one and always the one that got the speech, “why can’t you be more like your brother”. Growing up as a child, I was never taken to church, for what ever reason we just didn’t go. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are great and I love them dearly. They taught me right from wrong and it helped get me to where I am today, a saved Christian rider. Today they too have a relationship with the Lord. So keep in mind that this is coming from someone that has never had any church during my upbringing until I was in my 30’s and really not until I was in my 40’s have I really sought Jesus.
I didn’t accept Jesus Christ into my life as my Lord and Savior until I was in my mid 30’s. I was baptized at the same time as my second child. Even then I went to church only occasionally. I was a “baby Christian”.
Unfortunately, I suffered a back slide when I went through a divorce about 5 years later. I say unfortunately because it was against my beliefs as a Christian and the vows I took with the Lord. I struggled with that a LONG time before it became just unbearable. I didn’t care if I died. It was that bad. I smoked and drank heavily and looked for any chance I could to drink or to “escape. My kids kept me sane and kept me coming back. I had two young children at that time (they’re now adults) that I love dearly and they were my biggest concern. I was married for 20 years when the Lord came to me in my struggles and He told me that what I was experiencing in my marriage was not considered a “marriage” and that “things were going to be ok for me”. He stood before me as plain as my bike sitting in the garage. I felt this comfort and the biggest feeling of love that I have ever felt till that date. It was overwhelming and I didn’t want it to stop. The biggest hurt that came from my divorce was the lack of time I got to spend with my children and the hurt I felt I had caused them. For that I am sorry. (The every other weekend for visitation does not cut it as a dad.) To this day it hurts me to think about it and the things that were missed due to the circumstances of divorce. Divorce is a terrible thing.
I have since remarried to a beautiful woman that I love dearly. We got married in 2004. She has encouraged me and been there to support me in many decisions. I am blessed the Lord placed her in my path. I began going back to church. I realized what was going on was beyond any of my control.
During my younger years, I experienced the biker lifestyles. From the parties with women running around half clothed and a pile of coke on the table, people shooting guns off the back porch, to all night binges. I had buddies that were like family but when push came to shove, they failed me. I’d manage to get up and throw my leg over the bike to ride home in the wee hours of the morning, sometimes as the sun was rising. Some mornings I couldn’t recall how I got home or I’d just go straight to work from the party just to do it all over again the next night. I realize now it was by the grace of God that I got through it.
I’ve tried many biker organizations throughout my days of riding only to end up in a bar with fellow riders getting drunk. I began to withdraw from the people around me. I kept saying “it wasn’t me” and “it isn’t the way it’s supposed to be”. I knew something in me was changing. I now realize it was the Holy Spirit talking to me.
In 2006 I rode to Sturgis. What a great place. However, this time, something was different about the trip. While there the Lord was talking to me once again. I started seeing all of the sinful ways being presented to me during my rides out there. I realize what the Lord was doing to me now. It began weighing heavy in my heart that fellow bikers need an avenue to Him. They need someone to reach out to when they are really feeling down. The Lord was telling me I had to be part of a Christian motorcycle ministry. I came back from Sturgis and pondered it for several months. I kept saying “I’m a biker…that’s not for me”. I would ask the Lord “why me”? I would come up with excuses like “I don’t have time for this.” You name it…I had the reason why NOT to do this. Much like when God spoke to Moses on the mountain telling him HE would be the one to bring his people out of Egypt. The Lord is patient and the Lord WILL prevail. Over the next 12 months He kept bringing this into my life. I would get little hints and reminders in various ways. It seems funny to me when people say they never hear from God. I say that is untrue. He talks to us all the time. We need to make a decision if we want to pay attention to what he is saying, He’ll tell us what to do.
I realize the things in my past are part of the biker lifestyle and part of the culture. Some like the feeling of putting on the sunglasses and leathers and becoming someone they typically aren’t during the week. The Lord was beginning to take hold of me to show me that there is a different way. You can ride a motorcycle, worship the Lord and STILL have a lot of fun doing it. I no longer drink and I quit smoking cold Turkey one night by asking the Lord to take it away from me. This was after smoking at least a pack a day (sometimes more when I drank) for 30 years. I haven’t picked up a cigarette since 2006 now.
I went home from Sturgis and diligently began researching. I found
As it says inRomans 14:11 11It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'
Note: it says EVERY. Not some
In December of 2013, I had my very first colonoscopy at 52. Something I should have done at 50 but pride got in my way. I had never had a stitch or broken bone. I came out of that first one at the age of 52 diagnosed with colon cancer. Two weeks later in January 2014 I was going in for removal of an 18” portion of my large intestine and a bunch of lymph nodes. Doctors say I was a miracle. I know what it was; I give all the credit to God. I had no symptoms. I was healthy as a horse and no reason to see a doc. What told me to go in and get this done? Docs say it was a miracle because I was within the thickness of a sandwich baggie from the cancer being in my body. They say another six months and the prognosis would have been much worse and the outcome would have been more difficult. They got all the cancer out and I’ve been cancer free since January 2014. Thank you Lord!
The bottom line is The Lord is speaking to you through the Holy Spirit that is inside each of us. Open your ears and listen to Him. Open your eyes and see what He brings you and what He is telling you. Beware of temptations and sin. Satan is real and he is among us and he loves to kill, steal and destroy our joy. He is here to separate us from godly people, good things and God. Isn’t it great to know that when we sin (and yes, we all sin, See Romans 3:23. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) the Lord is there to forgive us if we ask for it and mean it in our hearts. The Lord will change you from the inside out. Our prayer is that everyone will accept the Lord as their Lord and Savior so that you can have everlasting life in heaven.
May God Bless you,
Bikers for Christ Regional Elder Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota