Born almost in a taxi cab on the tropical island of Manhattan in the year in 1952. To fit into the jungle scene of New York City I learned to Bop (walk like a tough guerrilla), and spit real well. We snapped our fingers, combed our hair with grease and forgot we were only ten years old.
By 11 I was kidnapped for three years and taken to Argentina. Since Papa bear drank too much... Mama bear snatched the Three Baby bears... and we fled. I returned to the big apple at 15, and became flattered and flattened by the drug culture. As my head climbed up, my grades came tumbling down. I did not pass go or collect...I eventually dropped out. I can remember being 16 and walking down a New York City Street at 4 a.m. watching the buildings melt, while on LSD.
The late '60s took its toll on us. Tom fell off a wall, he was Stoned... He was dead. Lori took her life. Bob overdosed on cocaine and died. Marco lit himself on fire, Bobby went to prison after a drunk shootout. Marty, Joe, Harry, Jan, and Jimmy spent years on heroin. As my friends began to look at the needle I began to look to the revolution.
At 17 I joined a radical Street Theater Company. I was the youngest and looked up to my new leaders, some of them in their 30s. We performed on the streets and in universities protesting the Viet Nam war. I learned self-defense, how to make a fire bomb, and how to hate. Chris joined a guerrilla group in Argentina. She was shot in the face while attempting to throw a grenade at police, she died I had learned a lesson, violence only bred more violence.
The troop dissolved, I ended up living in the mountains of Colorado until I got arrested for fishing without license... Onto California!
The hippy scene disillusioned me. There was so much pain, V.D, crabs, bad drugs, abortions, ripp -offs, disease, rejection, poverty, confusion, anger, and lack of responsibility. And we were going to change the world? So...I joined the spiritual hippies, wore white clothes, practiced yoga, ate yogurt, let my hair grow until it went halfway down my back. Walked with a staff, became a vegetarian for six years, meditated, practiced Tai Chi, chanted with the Krishnas, tried magic, when to seances, tried a form of Buddhism, Hinduism, sought the blessings of gurus, worked in health food stores, lived in communes, buses and more mountains.
During these years I began to sense an interest in the teachings of Christ, and also a respect for Jesus himself. His words were clever, practical, and always challenging. I began to give any ear to this voice calling out from the corridors of time, and realized that my heart was becoming tender toward Him.
But at the same time I remained well guarded against the many narrow minded folks who claimed to follow him. Yet Jesus did say, narrow is the way that leads to life. Humm.... I was confused. The Bible spoke to me in ways that not only made sense, but were like pieces of the puzzle of life. Concerning my past, Proverbs 14: 12 spoke very clearly.
There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
I traveled to Hawaii and made my home in an abandoned structure under an avocado tree. I was trying to live pure on the rain water and wild fruits when I encountered several Christians.
One fellow who picked me up hitch hiking said that he was in the world but not of the world. For days I tried to figure that out. While I was selling flutes, another fellow approached me and asked where my home was, bowing down real spiritual like, I said, 'My home is where my heart is'. His reply, 'Is your heart with Jesus Christ?' I felt a sword go through me.
About this time, I found a Bible in the jungle. I read about a God who knew how many hairs were on my head. A personal God. This book began to reveal to me a compassionate Father who wants folks on earth to be restored onto Himself. I began to see a God of love, of forgiveness, a God of rebirth, of new life. Oh, how the words of Jesus began to fill me and to draw me. Such words as, 'I am the the bread of life, he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.'
'I am the light of the world, he who follows me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.'
My heart was pricked, by His words, by His miracles and by the events that were taking place. But I still didn't understand. I was disturbed by a multitude of scriptures, such as this one:
'For God did not send the son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him'. John 3:17.
Saved from what? From eating white bread and white sugar?
These biblical scriptures continued to be boldly proclaimed. Romans 3:23 shouted into my soul...' For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.' Romans 6:23 also spoke very clearly. But why could I not embrace these truths.
'For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.'
My attitude was, why is God so hung up on this sin issue. I became aware of a tremendous wall of pride in front of me. I could not conceive myself to be a sinner. Then it hit me, I clearly saw that sin meant a separation from God and that's why God wanted people restored: because they were separated from Him, it was a condition I was in. An old nature I was bound to. I began to feel sorry before God for the hurt I caused Him.#1 I realized I was a sinner. #2 I surrendered, repented and asked God to forgive me. #3 I invited Jesus into my life and heart as Lord and Savior. That day I became a new creature. A surge of love, peace and communion filled me. That day I humbled myself before the Living God, who gives grace to the humble, but opposes the proud. I returned to New York City to restore my relationship with my Dad. It went great. He is now sober and praying. And for the record, I love him and greatly respect him. In His faithfulness the Lord continued the process to groom me, ground me and mature me.I've been walking with Jesus now for 22 years. I have settled down with a glorious wife, who has blessed me with 5 extraordinary kids. We not only make flutes, but minister the gospel, through music and drama. We have performed on TV, Radio, in Guatemala, Canada, and up and down the Eastern United States, in prisons, churches and on the streets.
But the greatest thing is Jesus. You see, my friend, if you forget me you have lost nothing. But if you forget Jesus, you have lost everything. For his very words were, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father, but through me.' John 14:6 If you believe the Holy Spirit has touched you, and is calling you onto himself, pray this tiny prayer to God with a sincere heart. I love you.
Dear Father in Heaven, I humble myself before you, acknowledging I am a sinner. By faith I accept Jesus' death on the Cross payment for my sins. Jesus, I open my heart and receive you as my Lord and Savior. Lord guide me, teach me, change me, fill me with your Holy Spirit. Thank you, In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Welcome to the Family of God!!!
Erik the Flutemaker
14701 SW 18th Court
Davie, FL 33325