Donny's Ramblings

More of the Back Story, and Why I’m a Little Confused at the Moment

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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!

24 thoughts on “More of the Back Story, and Why I’m a Little Confused at the Moment

  1. I’m convinced there are times where God isn’t micromanaging our lives, but He’d rather know what you WANT to do. There are times (I’ve experienced them myself) where, as callous as it sounds, God doesn’t care where you are, He wants to use you where you decide to go. Rely on the counsel of those around you whom you trust. Maybe you do need a break from the area. Maybe not. You’ve started down the right path with asking for help. Just realize that God only manages what’s important.

  2. I’m convinced there are times where God isn’t micromanaging our lives, but He’d rather know what you WANT to do. There are times (I’ve experienced them myself) where, as callous as it sounds, God doesn’t care where you are, He wants to use you where you decide to go. Rely on the counsel of those around you whom you trust. Maybe you do need a break from the area. Maybe not. You’ve started down the right path with asking for help. Just realize that God only manages what’s important.

  3. Family Man,I feel the same way. I may be too close to this situation, though, so I want to make sure in my case. I really feel God will eventually use me in a ministry to help those who want to escape from the nets of pornography. I don’t want to mess that up in any way. I also feel there is a lot of counsel and guidance to be received by men such as Kris Vallotton. There’s a lot of the conversation with Kris that I didn’t write about (the blog entry was already really long). I need to figure something out soon, as Wendy and Caden (my ex-wife and my son) depend on me for support, but I don’t want to rush too much and make a decision that isn’t good for the big picture.

  4. Family Man,

    I feel the same way. I may be too close to this situation, though, so I want to make sure in my case. I really feel God will eventually use me in a ministry to help those who want to escape from the nets of pornography. I don’t want to mess that up in any way.

    I also feel there is a lot of counsel and guidance to be received by men such as Kris Vallotton. There’s a lot of the conversation with Kris that I didn’t write about (the blog entry was already really long).

    I need to figure something out soon, as Wendy and Caden (my ex-wife and my son) depend on me for support, but I don’t want to rush too much and make a decision that isn’t good for the big picture.

  5. OK, you know I’ve been reading and praying and, honestly, I think we’re cut a lot from the same cloth. You’ve also asked to be challenged. Both of these reasons make me feel OK with talking freely with you, even if it’s in a public forum. I just checked Kris’ website a little…how is his ministry different from the others that show the facade and are phony? I have to tell you, any time words like “royalty” and “acting like a prince” come, I see major red flags. Here’s the reason: Jesus was a carpenter when he came here. He could’ve come from any family and he came to a pretty poor family and lived the life of a poor man. Of course he knew who he was, but to show who God was, he lived a life of little worldly esteem. He relied on God giving him his daily bread, not on giving him his daily bread…plus a little more to put into his retirement fund. So, I see the example that Jesus laid down, then I hear what is basically referred to as the “health and wealth” theology…and there’s a disparity. Kris’ website smells similar to the latter so I have to ask about it. There are a lot of places God can use you and I think he’ll make himself clear to you. Reggie White told the story often that when he was figuring out where to go after he left the Eagles. He had the choice between the 49ers and the Packers. He was convinced that he was supposed to go to the 49ers, but some things came up that made him question it. So, he prayed for two days about what God would have him do. He actually locked himself in his room so he could talk and listen to God. God did answer him in a way he wasn’t expecting. He signed with the Packers a couple days later. Yeah, I question their ministry’s authenticity, but regardless of that, I know that God will let you know where to go and what to do. If it’s to stay there, it’ll become evident. If it’s to go to San Diego, he’s got a place for you that will equip you just as much, maybe more, than any ministry would be able to where you’re already at. And he knows what you need in order to make that happen, in your day-to-day and everlasting needs. So, I’d suggest keep praying, don’t compromise and God will answer. If he doesn’t right away, don’t jump the gun. He will.

  6. OK, you know I’ve been reading and praying and, honestly, I think we’re cut a lot from the same cloth. You’ve also asked to be challenged. Both of these reasons make me feel OK with talking freely with you, even if it’s in a public forum.
    I just checked Kris’ website a little…how is his ministry different from the others that show the facade and are phony? I have to tell you, any time words like “royalty” and “acting like a prince” come, I see major red flags.
    Here’s the reason: Jesus was a carpenter when he came here. He could’ve come from any family and he came to a pretty poor family and lived the life of a poor man. Of course he knew who he was, but to show who God was, he lived a life of little worldly esteem. He relied on God giving him his daily bread, not on giving him his daily bread…plus a little more to put into his retirement fund. So, I see the example that Jesus laid down, then I hear what is basically referred to as the “health and wealth” theology…and there’s a disparity. Kris’ website smells similar to the latter so I have to ask about it.
    There are a lot of places God can use you and I think he’ll make himself clear to you. Reggie White told the story often that when he was figuring out where to go after he left the Eagles. He had the choice between the 49ers and the Packers. He was convinced that he was supposed to go to the 49ers, but some things came up that made him question it. So, he prayed for two days about what God would have him do. He actually locked himself in his room so he could talk and listen to God. God did answer him in a way he wasn’t expecting. He signed with the Packers a couple days later.
    Yeah, I question their ministry’s authenticity, but regardless of that, I know that God will let you know where to go and what to do. If it’s to stay there, it’ll become evident. If it’s to go to San Diego, he’s got a place for you that will equip you just as much, maybe more, than any ministry would be able to where you’re already at. And he knows what you need in order to make that happen, in your day-to-day and everlasting needs.
    So, I’d suggest keep praying, don’t compromise and God will answer. If he doesn’t right away, don’t jump the gun. He will.

  7. Jeff,Thank you very much for your response. It is full of great advice. And thanks for your support as well. I really appreciate it.- Donny –

  8. Jeff,

    Thank you very much for your response. It is full of great advice.

    And thanks for your support as well. I really appreciate it.

    – Donny –

  9. I’m going to agree with Jeff here. Looking at that website – I see danger. What Jeff calls “Health and Wealth”, I call the Gospel of Selfishness. It’s this teaching that says that God is really all about me. God wants to bestow on me whatever my hearts desire is – as long as I put all the right quarters in the vending machine. As soon as stuff happens in your life that does not lead to “health” or “wealth” then you must be guilty of not putting your quarters into God’s machine properly. I’m not saying that these churches don’t do good things or that they don’t lead people to Jesus. But I would say that they don’t teach what Jesus taught.I went onto Kris’ website and took the Prince/Pauper Test and was rather disgusted. Jesus always identified with the Pauper over the Prince. You can’t get around that in Scripture and that rag-tag group of disciples he had were hardly a group of Princes.

  10. I’m going to agree with Jeff here. Looking at that website – I see danger. What Jeff calls “Health and Wealth”, I call the Gospel of Selfishness. It’s this teaching that says that God is really all about me. God wants to bestow on me whatever my hearts desire is – as long as I put all the right quarters in the vending machine. As soon as stuff happens in your life that does not lead to “health” or “wealth” then you must be guilty of not putting your quarters into God’s machine properly.

    I’m not saying that these churches don’t do good things or that they don’t lead people to Jesus. But I would say that they don’t teach what Jesus taught.

    I went onto Kris’ website and took the Prince/Pauper Test and was rather disgusted. Jesus always identified with the Pauper over the Prince. You can’t get around that in Scripture and that rag-tag group of disciples he had were hardly a group of Princes.

  11. well donny i wrote a hole bunch of stuff and right as i was going to post it the webpage went blank,then is wouldnt go thru,then my aol reset,so i guess what ever i was going to tell you was importent cause this only happends when i am about to do some good,so i will rewrite this again,well donny gods wisdom says to me that going to bible school is wise thing to do so you can learn his word , and there are bible schools everywhare,like theres one down by me called biola college,and getting a mentor is a good thing,just pray and ask god to send you someone who is willing and godly, cause i have found when i needed one alot of people didnt want to cause they were busy,so i went and found someone who had the time and was willing and godly,and i found a church i am getting rooted in cause thats super importent,well i pray god speak to you when you are praying and reading his word cause thats how he will talk to you and i will be keeping you in my prayers bro,blessings – veritas 🙂

  12. well donny i wrote a hole bunch of stuff and right as i was going to post it the webpage went blank,then is wouldnt go thru,then my aol reset,so i guess what ever i was going to tell you was importent cause this only happends when i am about to do some good,so i will rewrite this again,well donny gods wisdom says to me that going to bible school is wise thing to do so you can learn his word , and there are bible schools everywhare,like theres one down by me called biola college,and getting a mentor is a good thing,just pray and ask god to send you someone who is willing and godly, cause i have found when i needed one alot of people didnt want to cause they were busy,so i went and found someone who had the time and was willing and godly,and i found a church i am getting rooted in cause thats super importent,well i pray god speak to you when you are praying and reading his word cause thats how he will talk to you and i will be keeping you in my prayers bro,

    blessings – veritas 🙂

  13. I read the controversy over K’s church with a bit of bemusement. I’m not even bothering going to their web site as I want to stay out of it.Let me say this much: after meeting God as a child I lived a life of rebellion as well. I returned to God after coming to the end of myself and ending up in AA. That’s right, I met god in AA and met God as the result of this process. Another friend of mine met God by converting from evangelical worship to Orthodoxy. I checked it out. It works for me no more than AA would for him–yet both of us are growing strong in the same Lord JC. What I’m trying to say is: God is in charge and you will meet Him wherever you seek Him. If K is a good reason to stay in town and receive discipling–fantastic! If some of the concerns about his church in time become you rconcerns as well–time to move on. But there’s no way to figure out the second step before taking the first.Follow your heart as you keep praying for God ot teach that rebellious little sucker. He will be with you whether you stay or go. Just paut Him first and receive the help, discipling, teaching, encouraging and building up that He sends your way. All the best to you! He’ll never leave you!

  14. I read the controversy over K’s church with a bit of bemusement. I’m not even bothering going to their web site as I want to stay out of it.
    Let me say this much: after meeting God as a child I lived a life of rebellion as well. I returned to God after coming to the end of myself and ending up in AA. That’s right, I met god in AA and met God as the result of this process. Another friend of mine met God by converting from evangelical worship to Orthodoxy. I checked it out. It works for me no more than AA would for him–yet both of us are growing strong in the same Lord JC.
    What I’m trying to say is: God is in charge and you will meet Him wherever you seek Him. If K is a good reason to stay in town and receive discipling–fantastic! If some of the concerns about his church in time become you rconcerns as well–time to move on. But there’s no way to figure out the second step before taking the first.
    Follow your heart as you keep praying for God ot teach that rebellious little sucker. He will be with you whether you stay or go. Just paut Him first and receive the help, discipling, teaching, encouraging and building up that He sends your way. All the best to you! He’ll never leave you!

  15. DONNY! I am SO SO SO happy to read this!!!!!! Tracy sent me the link. I am speechless at the moment. But I feel like jumping up and down.Yeah I know what you mean by getting “hit” by God. I know what you mean about the electricity. I also know how it feels to have those doubts that it’s all true. I also want to tell you that you came back to God on my brother Dan’s birthday!Don’t know what else to say but am sending you a huge hug! Love, “Aunt” Nancy

  16. DONNY! I am SO SO SO happy to read this!!!!!! Tracy sent me the link. I am speechless at the moment. But I feel like jumping up and down.
    Yeah I know what you mean by getting “hit” by God. I know what you mean about the electricity. I also know how it feels to have those doubts that it’s all true. I also want to tell you that you came back to God on my brother Dan’s birthday!
    Don’t know what else to say but am sending you a huge hug!
    Love, “Aunt” Nancy

  17. Hey Donny… I don’t know what’s best for you, I don’t know whether Kris V is a good guy or a bad guy… I do know that the Word says that if you seek Him with all your heart, then you will find Him.Keep reading His Word and stay in prayer. Things will be clear to you soon enough.

  18. Hey Donny… I don’t know what’s best for you, I don’t know whether Kris V is a good guy or a bad guy… I do know that the Word says that if you seek Him with all your heart, then you will find Him.

    Keep reading His Word and stay in prayer. Things will be clear to you soon enough.

  19. Hey Donny!I’m completely blown away by your comments about Bethel and Kris V! I’m actually in Redding right now after going to there “Opening Heaven” conference this past week. I also have a good friend who is a first year student in the school of ministry and have seen tons of fruit come from this ministry in my youth group back home.Yes – pray about it, but I will say from personal experience that Bethel is an awsome church moving in the power of God. To hear testimonies of people not only being saved, and broken out of bondage of sin; but also healed in the body. Bethel is one of the few places I’ve seen Christianity that truly matches the Jesus I read about in the Bible.I’m sure you will continue to do so. No matter where the Lord eventually leads you I have total confidence that any time spent at Bethel’s school will not be wasted.You’re in my prayers. Thanks for the honestly and transparency found in your words on this blog!

  20. Hey Donny!

    I’m completely blown away by your comments about Bethel and Kris V! I’m actually in Redding right now after going to there “Opening Heaven” conference this past week. I also have a good friend who is a first year student in the school of ministry and have seen tons of fruit come from this ministry in my youth group back home.

    Yes – pray about it, but I will say from personal experience that Bethel is an awsome church moving in the power of God. To hear testimonies of people not only being saved, and broken out of bondage of sin; but also healed in the body. Bethel is one of the few places I’ve seen Christianity that truly matches the Jesus I read about in the Bible.

    I’m sure you will continue to do so. No matter where the Lord eventually leads you I have total confidence that any time spent at Bethel’s school will not be wasted.

    You’re in my prayers. Thanks for the honestly and transparency found in your words on this blog!

  21. Donny,Regardless of who is telling you what you need to do, it is God who will show you where you need to be. I, for one, am proud of you for making it this far. A lot of us who have been gripped in porn/sex sin can’t make it a week. Don’t quit working or lose sight of that………God Bless you, Donny and you are on my list.West

  22. Donny,

    Regardless of who is telling you what you need to do, it is God who will show you where you need to be. I, for one, am proud of you for making it this far. A lot of us who have been gripped in porn/sex sin can’t make it a week. Don’t quit working or lose sight of that………God Bless you, Donny and you are on my list.

    West

  23. Donny, I know exactly what you’re talking about when you say ‘power of God’ fell on Kris. That guy is closely affiliated with the Church in Australia which I attend, DaySpring, and has spoken at quite a few conferences – and I have seen/felt some pretty amazing stuff while he’s been around… ‘Bettered’ only, I think, by Bill Johnson’s ministry time at DaySpring.If our school of ministry at D/S is based on theirs (which I think it might well be, as there were/are negotiations going on between D/S and Bethel for a Non-Denom Church Government as far as I am aware) then I can tell you one thing – it will make you a Jesus Freak… You should probably see a good impact, I was checking out the MySpace pages of some of the Aussie students this morning and they all seem to ‘look’ like Christians. Some of them still have questionable attitudes in person (I can think of one girl who still seems like a battleaxe after it all), but I think that that is more themselves than Ps. Davo’s influence.I am thinking of one fella named Jonno who is a mad bloke, so yeah I don’t know, I think that it might be okay.One thing I’m pretty sure of is that if you take up the student role, you’ll probably see some mad stuff happen as God’s power touches people’s lives.Who knows, maybe one day you’ll come out with Kris on a ministry team to DaySpring and I could meet you. Heck, I’d bring my friends along.Still, yeah, you have a dilemma, don’t you mate?God’ll let you know, for surely.

  24. Donny, I know exactly what you’re talking about when you say ‘power of God’ fell on Kris. That guy is closely affiliated with the Church in Australia which I attend, DaySpring, and has spoken at quite a few conferences – and I have seen/felt some pretty amazing stuff while he’s been around… ‘Bettered’ only, I think, by Bill Johnson’s ministry time at DaySpring.

    If our school of ministry at D/S is based on theirs (which I think it might well be, as there were/are negotiations going on between D/S and Bethel for a Non-Denom Church Government as far as I am aware) then I can tell you one thing – it will make you a Jesus Freak… You should probably see a good impact, I was checking out the MySpace pages of some of the Aussie students this morning and they all seem to ‘look’ like Christians. Some of them still have questionable attitudes in person (I can think of one girl who still seems like a battleaxe after it all), but I think that that is more themselves than Ps. Davo’s influence.

    I am thinking of one fella named Jonno who is a mad bloke, so yeah I don’t know, I think that it might be okay.

    One thing I’m pretty sure of is that if you take up the student role, you’ll probably see some mad stuff happen as God’s power touches people’s lives.

    Who knows, maybe one day you’ll come out with Kris on a ministry team to DaySpring and I could meet you. Heck, I’d bring my friends along.

    Still, yeah, you have a dilemma, don’t you mate?

    God’ll let you know, for surely.

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