Right now I’m in a state of limbo. I’ve been offered jobs, one of which I wrote about here. That particular job paid well enough to meet my needs, but something inside told me I needed to check into it more. I drove to Seattle to do so. I asked a lot of questions of the man offering me the job. He mentioned not being able to sell extended warranties through their dealership because the state had temporarily suspended the sale of such warranties for all dealers. That didn’t sound right at all. To me, that sounded more like shady dealings and I wanted no part of such things. I left Seattle feeling that God was telling me that I just need to trust him. That particular job offer had been made as an answer to prayer in a time when I was feeling frustrated. I’ve used the term “faith building” when talking about this experience because that is exactly what it was: God building my faith in him. Are you insisting on an immediate job offer, Donny? Well here ya go!
My mom lives in San Diego and would love for me to move in with her. I could live upstairs. When my son comes to visit she’ll be able to watch him if I am at work. I’ve been on the phone talking to several companies down there, all of whom have assured me I’ll have no problems finding employment that will meet my income needs. My cousin also lives in the area and her fiancé has spoken with one of his clients who has assured him that he’d most likely hire me as well.
And then there is Kris Vallotton, the Senior Associate Pastor of Bethel Church right here in Northern California. He throws a wrench into any plans I’ve been forming. For this to make more sense I’ll have to tell you the back story. Please be patient, as this will take a few minutes to explain:
When I first revealed to my ex-wife that I was producing porn we split up. She’s a strong Christian and that doesn’t mix well with producing pornography, as I’m sure you can imagine. At first she fought hard to change my mind. She also sought counseling from Bethel Church. Bethel is a very large church with more than 20 Pastors on staff, and as Senior Associate Pastor, Kris Vallotton is a very busy man who doesn’t do much counseling. Even so, he agreed to see Wendy and asked if she would bring me along. I agreed to see him once, more out of curiousity than anything. I listened to nothing Kris said and went on to have a pretty successful career in the adult industry.
The years passed and Belinda and I moved to Redding from Chico because we found the house we wanted to buy up here. PART of the reason I’d even decided to look in Redding was because I wanted to produce porn in the same town where Kris Vallotton pastored. In our counseling session so long ago, he told me I’d better stop messing with “God’s daughters”. I took that as a challenge. Since that time I’d made a very large amount of money and things were going really well. I was thumbing my nose at Christians. Still business grew. I wanted to challenge Kris, even if he didn’t know I was doing so. I figured that even if he didn’t remember my name, he’d find out soon enough that there was a pornographer doing business in his town.
Because of some of the seeds planted in my heart by the non-judgmental attitude of the Pastors of XXXChurch.com during the 2 years I’ve known them and given them a lot of grief, I started softening up just a little. Not to all Christians, of course, because I figured most were still as judgmental and ignorant as they’d always been in the churches I attended while growing up. But I was starting to think maybe there were more people like the XXXChurch staff. Because of this softening, I took my ex-wife’s advice to sit in on a Friday night service at Bethel just a few months ago. She assured me I’d find a group of people who accepted everyone. That particular Friday night I really enjoyed the service. Kris Vallotton happened to be the speaker, and he spoke on being non-judgmental. I was sure that was more than a coincidence, and his message planted more seeds in my mind.
The next week I emailed Kris and left voice messages. I wanted to talk to him one-on-one. I was assured by several people that he likely wouldn’t meet me. They all told me Kris would be too busy to talk to me. That really pissed me off. Here I am producing porn in his town, sending local models to publications such as Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler and websites all over the world, and he doesn’t have time to talk to me? In my mind I figured there should have been many things less pressing than to talk to a pornographer who is open to meeting with you. I decided Bethel must be more focused on business as usual than on “saving souls”, and I went on with my own business, more determined than ever to show Christians that God was blessing me despite the fact that I produce pornography. Belinda and I had been very busy shooting a soft core project for Playboy and the man I answered to at the company had been asking if we’d try shooting a new lesbian project. I tried reaching out to Kris Vallotton and received a “too busy” answer from his staff, so maybe it was time to pursue the offer from Playboy and start producing hardcore lesbian movies after all. That would show him and all the other Christians! And if we shot the lesbian movies Playboy was willing to pay 4 times as much as they’d been paying us. Nice!
Not long after that I was driving back from Playboy’s offices after meeting with one of their Vice Presidents. We’d discussed the lesbian movie project a bit more and I had agreed to start shooting for it. I already had models in mind that we’d start with. I was ecstatic. I prayed something along the lines of, “God, I don’t know why you still bless me so much even after everything I’ve been doing”. I kept talking to God for several minutes. I suddenly received an electric shock through my entire body. My hands shook as I drove the car off the road and into a Burger King parking lot. I sat in my seat for a few moments because I couldn’t move. I decided not to tell Belinda about this experience because she’d think I was crazy. I called my ex-wife instead because I knew she’d believe me. She was actually excited when I told her about it. She knew God was reaching out in a drastic way to get my attention. I began doing a lot of thinking and praying after that day. It was obvious God wanted me to return to him, but I wanted all of my questions answered first. It was just a few weeks later that I surrendered my life to God, despite the many unanswered questions I had in my head. If you’ve been reading my blog you know the story since that time.
Let’s return now to why I’m confused, and what Kris Vallotton has to do with that confusion.
Kris tried to get me to stop this lifestyle nearly 6 years ago but I ignored his counsel and grew my business anyway. The day after I called XXXChurch to tell them I was ready to live for God I felt a very strong urge to contact Kris. His itinerary on the Bethel Church website showed he was out of the country, but that he’d be speaking in Fortuna, California on Sunday, October 15th. He’d be back in town before that speaking engagement, but for some reason I knew Fortuna was where I needed to go to talk to him. That’s a 6 hour round trip from my house so I wasn’t looking forward to making the drive. I tried to get out of it on the morning of the 15th by going to Bethel instead. He had been there but left before I asked for him. Damn. I’d have to make the drive!
I still didn’t know exactly why I was feeling so compelled to talk to him. All I knew was that for weeks I’d felt the need to meet him in Fortuna. The feeling wouldn’t go away. The church service was to start at 7pm, but I walked through the doors a little after 6. Kris was just finishing up a meeting with some students from the Fortuna church. I sat in the back of the church and immediately felt comfort.
In between the meeting with the students and the start of the church service I finally was able to talk to Kris. I could barely speak clearly because God’s presence in that building was so powerful I could hardly function. I felt it all over me, and knew it was all over Kris as well. As we spoke Kris kept getting hit by God over and over again. Some of you may not know what I mean when I write that, and I really don’t know how to describe it. Others know exactly what I mean. We prayed and talked. He asked if I have a mentor. We talked more. He confirmed my feeling that I’m going to be used by God to help those caught in the nets of pornography. He also felt I need to attend the School of Ministry at Bethel in Redding. We talked a bit more both before and after the service and I left to make the long drive home. We agreed to meet again soon.
That’s where the confusion comes in: I’ve been thinking I need to move out of the area to take a break from my past and to get away from everyone locally who knows what I’ve been doing for a living. I’ve been thinking of taking this job and that job. I’ve even considered commercial fishing in Alaska for a 3 month season, just to take a break and BREATHE. But the words received from Kris indicate I may need to stay right here in town.
God, you’ve been speaking to me so much lately. I need your guidance yet again. Help me, please!