I recently released my book, We Whom The Darkness Could Not Overcome – War Journal #1, on Amazon’s Kindle format. It will be available in paperback in a week or two.
Likewise, my wife, Laura, and I have launched our ministry, Demonkill Ministries, and my goal is to eventually be a full-time writer and speaker. Anyone who has ever read even one of my blogs knows I have a great burden for those who suffer chronic physical and/or emotional pain, having suffered from both myself for many, many years.
The name “Demonkill” is obviously not your standard moniker for a ministry, so I thought I’d offer a little history behind the name and what it means to me.
It began as a Christian heavy metal song. As is normally the custom with me, the chorus of the song, the “hook,” hit me first, but I never took the time to write the verses. I could hear a heavy guitar chugging along in my head, followed by a whole slew of voices chiming in on the chorus…
dun dun dun dun dun
dun dun dun dun dun dun dun
So I stored that in the back of my head and didn’t do much with it for a few years. I was probably in my early 20s, which was nearly 30 years ago (gulp).
Then I decided Demonkill should be a comic book, so I wrote what I thought was a script, but in all actuality, was just a poorly written short story. I mean REALLY short, like six pages. I could see Demonkill as an “unblack” metal band, and eventually found an artist online to help me put together a few pages. We even made it into a one-run Christian “zine,” an abbreviated version of a music magazine which never made it past the first issue.
I kept thinking and praying about it over the years, and eventually stumbled onto a Christian comic book about spiritual warfare, which shall remain nameless. They had completed 9 issues, and I looked on the internet until I discovered a phone number for one of the creators.
“Yeah, this is Mr. X (can’t recall his name), how can I help you?”
“Uh, hey,” I stammered, “I’m trying to start a Christian comic book and thought yours was pretty cool. I just thought I’d try to get some pointers from you.”
“Sure!” he chirped back, enjoying the credit. “How far along are you?”
“Well, all I have right now is a script.”
The dude literally started laughing. “A script?” he said, “that’s it? Oh man, that’s funny. You’ve not even STARTED, bro. You know how long we’ve spent on this title? You know how much of our own money, as well as that of investors, we’ve poured into this? You know how many YEARS we’ve spent on this?”
“Actually, no, I don’t,” I responded, getting a little angry.
“You have to get yourself a team of artists, you have to find investors, you have to…well, tell ya what, you start there and then call me back in a few years. We’ll talk then.”
A couple years later I met a band who were looking for a lead singer, and I auditioned and was chosen. I suggested “Demonkill” for the band name, but they all hated it. This was at the tail end of the “hair metal” days, and they wanted something “80s cool,” like “White Angel.” YEESH, I thought that was awful. We finally settled on “Rest In Peace,” and then disbanded three months later.
At one point I joined a Christian writers group and I discussed my idea, again, for a comic book. One guy told me he, too, hated the name.
“It’s not even CHRISTIAN!” he said. “I feel like the Holy Spirit just told me that you gotta change the name, man. If you want to put two words together, call it ‘Jesusaves’ or ‘Spiritlove.’ What do you think?”
“Not much,” I replied, and left the group.
Beware of people who tell you “God told me to tell you…” because it’s not always true.
People just didn’t get it. I wasn’t trying to glorify darkness or Satan. I define the name “Demonkill” as, “The act of allowing the light of Christ to chase away all darkness and shadows from our spirit.” It speaks to the struggle to completely annihilate the devil’s influence in our lives. The name is based on the following Bible verses:
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)
“For it is you who lights my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” (Psalm 18:28)
“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46)
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)
A while after that I and a friend of mine started recording a heavy metal demo, and I, once more, suggested “Demonkill” as the name, but, like everyone before him, he hated it. “It glorifies darkness!” he said. He wanted to call the project “Scarlet.” I said, “As in ‘O’hara?” He replied, “No, as in ‘though your sins be as red as scarlet I will make them white as snow’ (Isaiah 1:18).”
I loved that verse, but hated the name, so we eventually settled on “Scarlet Road,” which sort of had a blues ring to it. But the project, again, fell apart a few months later and he said I could use the songs however I wished, just so I gave him credit as co-writer. I changed the name to “Hallow Road,” and will soon resurrect the band with my son, Trey.
Then there was the fiasco I wrote about a few days ago in my “failure” blog, when I actually DID get a team of comic book artists together, and we even completed the first issue of “Demonkill – the comic book.”
But that, like all my other projects, fell apart.
In late 2016, Laura suggested I start writing a blog. I “knew” I didn’t have it in me (shows what I know), and said, “Good idea, but I only write fiction.” She said, “Yeah, I know, I just thought that you’ve lived in pain for so long, and can really relate to hurting people.”
I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, though, and a couple months later, in December, 2016, I started this blog. Then, about a year later, she said, “Ya know, we have a lot of friends and family who have pretty crazy testimonies. You should write a book about them.”
“Good idea,” I said, “but I’m trying to finish my book of short fiction stories first.”
Still, the idea wouldn’t leave, and a year later, the book is done and almost ready for publishing. Thanks be to God, not only for His mercies, but for a wife who has stood by my side, patiently, as one dream after another faded into nothingness.
I have suffered great pain in my life, not only emotionally in the form of depression, but physically, from having four separate and debilitating spinal conditions which cause constant pain from the middle of my back, down to my hips and into my legs:
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
I have had two back surgeries, the worst of which was a quadruple fusion which opened up part of my spinal column in order to take some pressure off the nerves in my spine.
Because of the darkness I’ve travailed, it seems the encouragement I try and offer to people always has a darker edge to it, like my sense of humor sometimes. But God uses that to let others know it’s ok if your life isn’t all sunshine and roses. It’s ok if life stinks sometimes, man. Life is still an amazing journey, and God is still on the throne, and that gives us reason to celebrate!
My eternal destiny is still Heaven, regardless of the Hell I trudge through while on Earth.
It’s ok if your whole life has been spent in darkness; Christ can still use that to bring His light to the world. Beauty for ashes. That’s what it’s all about.
“They defeated him (Lucifer) by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony; for they did not love their lives but laid them down for him (God). (Revelation 12:11, emphasis and note added)”
So let your bitter yesterdays go, and allow Christ to shine through your life today.