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Jack Morris
 

I’m Jack Morris, head instructor of the American Karate Studios here in Tallahassee, and also Karate for Christ Ministries that I have that works through the business here. 

I was brought up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – in a Jewish home – father was Jewish, mother Jewish, grandmother orthodox – very religious.  I went to Hebrew school.  I was bar mitzvahed when I was 13 years old.  But never really felt like I was close to God or anything like that. 

And then later on in life I met a woman who was a Christian.  But she wasn’t a very strong Christian.  And she’s says, “Well, if we’re going to get married, we have to decide, like, how are we going to raise our children?”

I said, “Well, they can learn about Judaism, and they can learn about Christianity, and they can make a decision later on.”

So, anyway, she invited me to go to church one day.  And then one of the deacon’s came knocking on my door one day.  It was a little Baptist church.

I said, “Nah, I don’t really want to sit and talk about anything like that.”  And I kind of, like, sent him away. 

Then he came back again.  He was fairly persistent, but showing a lot of love.  And he invited me to come back to church again.  I did that, and then he came over to the house and started taking me through Scripture.  And I said, “Boy, this is very interesting.  I never heard any of these things, especially with the Old Testament pointing to Christ.” 

I said, “Wait a minute. I’m going to have to go to the rabbi.  Surely the rabbi will know, and give me the proper answers.”

And I did that.  And, it’s even hard to put into words here how he was so angry with me for even asking questions like this.  I said, “Well, I mean, rabbi – rabbi means teacher.  Teach me, then.  Show me from the Bible.”  He goes, “I don’t need to do that.” 

And, long story short, I went back to the pastor of the church, and he opened up the Bible, explained to me, especially Isaiah 53 about Christ.  And then I eventually came to know the Lord then, through that, as my personal Savior.

When I was fourteen years old I started in the martial arts thing.  When I went to school I was very small.  Kids were beating me up, pushing me around.  I said, “I need to do something about this.”

We used to hang out at this little restaurant up in Pennsylvania.  The cook, who was a friend, was walking out with his karate uniform over his shoulder.  I said, “What’s that?”  He goes, “Karate.”  I said, “What’s that?” 

I mean, you’re talking now, like, 45 years ago.  He says, “It’s a fighting art.  You gotta come down and watch it.” 

So I did that, and the next day I just signed up.  I said, “This is it.  I’m not gonna put up with stuff anymore,” you know, that kind of thing, thinking along self defense lines. 

It just gave me more confidence.  I never really had to fight.

And then when I got saved the pastor says, “Hey, you do this martial arts.  Why don’t you give a testimony on how you came to know the Lord and all.  Just tell them all about all that.”

So I did so and…16 kids got saved.  I did it again….saw the Spirit of the Lord working on all the kids and myself.  I said, “Wow, I never did this before, and 16 kids come to know the Lord.”

Did it again.  32.

I said, “Wow, this could be a real ministry, too.” 

So I was invited to go with the pastor and travel a little bit, and gave testimonies.  And every time, tons of kids – and not only kids, but even parents.  Been doing that ever since. 

When I came down here to Florida, I went through a wicked divorce.  And the head of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Ernie Stevenson, he invited me to stay with him at his house.  It’d just be a short time.  And I ended up, like, living with him for a year.  And thank God for him.  I think my life would have really gone the other way – anger, frustration.

He says, “Look, use your gifts and talents here, with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  Give testimonies.”  And I did that.  And again, same thing…we see God…God really working.  Not me.  God touching people.”

So all I can say is, “Praise God.”  He’s turned my life around. 

I used to keep this book, I call it the “Miracle Book,” because it truly was miracles in my life that happened.  I have two little girls, and when they happened I said I wanted to write these things down so they could look back and say, “Yeh, this is what God did in my dad’s life.” 

And I used to date it and write any kind of description I can on that, like being stuck on a road between Tallahassee and Perry – and if anybody knows that area there, it’s just dark.  It was, I guess, about one o’clock in the morning.

Car breaks down.  It was an older car.  I didn’t have much money or anything then.  I said, “Oh gosh, I don’t have any money on me.  The car’s breaking down.”  The police come and they said, “Oh, there was a man who just drove by, and he said to give this to you.”

It was an envelope with cash in it – enough to get a motel room, to have the car towed, and to repair the car.  Now, that just doesn’t happen.  That’s one incident. 

I get all emotional, because you know, “Wow, God really cares about individuals.  He cares about me, my children.” 

I didn’t mean to get this emotional, but it does this…

God’s good. 

 

 
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