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As a little boy, James was known as Jimmy.
Jimmy had a dog – a beagle – named Snoopy. He played with his dog everyday. His best friend (Jimmy’s, not Snoopy’s) lived next door…Manny was his name. Jimmy and Manny would play outside in the large backyard with Snoopy. When it was time to eat a snack or lunch, the boys could be found together in either of their mom’s kitchens eating something delicious. When it was time to go pee – much to their moms’ consternation – the boys could be found behind a tree in the backyard. What little boy would take time off from play to go inside!
One day Jimmy’s father loaded up Jimmy and Snoopy in the car and drove to a remote location. Snoopy was no longer wanted by daddy, so he dropped the tiny dog off in the woods. Jimmy was confused…
“How will Snoopy eat? Where will he sleep? Why is my father doing this to Snoopy? Will I be dropped off in the woods if someone gets tired of me?”
As much as Jimmy loved Snoop, he loved his mom even more. There were many nights after going to bed that Jimmy would hear banging and beating and screaming. His mom was screaming at his dad. “Please don’t hit me anymore. You’re hurting me. You are going to wake the kids.”
Too late, the kids were already awake. It was hard for Jimmy to sleep hearing what was going on in the next room and seeing the evidence of abuse on his mom the next morning. The knots in his stomach tightened. Finally there was an escape to relatives.
George came into his life. George was the husband of one of mom’s friends. Finally a father figure who listened to Jimmy, who cared for him, who spent time with him. One day George was watching all the kids, his three, Jimmy and Jimmy’s sister Mimmy. A fight broke out amongst the kids. George intervened and told Jimmy he needed to speak to him in the bathroom.
Jimmy protested his innocence. George said, “Don’t worry. I know you’re innocent. I just need to talk to you.” George locked the bathroom door behind them. He removed Jimmy’s pants. On that cold, hard bathroom floor he violated Jimmy in a way that no six- year old boy should be violated.
The pain, confusion, guilt and shame cannot be described. Jimmy loved George. Why would George do this to him?
The abuse continued until the age of eight, then George moved away. As Jimmy became James and understood more of what happened, a rage began to ignite within him. A rage that grew into murderous thoughts by the time he was 16. Meanwhile, the knot in his stomach was all twisted and churned. If only he could somehow kill George then things would be better.
That’s not the way James had been taught by his mother. Didn’t James himself do some horrible things at times? Didn’t God forgive James for these horrible things? Wasn’t this un-forgiveness just hurting James rather than George?
At the age of 16, James began his forgiveness journey. It wasn’t easy. It’s still not over. James realized that un-forgiveness was holding HIM back…holding him back spiritually, emotionally, financially. If he was to live in fullness of life, he HAD to Forgive & Live. If he wanted success in relationships, he HAD to Forgive & Live.
At the age of 30, James began to share this Forgive & Live message to audiences all over the United States. He is now a successful husband, father, grandfather, teacher, musician and speaker thanks to a Forgive & Live approach to life. James wants to see everyone start his own Forgive & Live journey.
Benefits of a James Divine Keynote
- As the Army say, Be All That You Can Be, spiritually, physically, emotionally and financially.
- Many people who have been abused feel they are the only ones who have gone through such a tragedy. In James' keynote they discover they are NOT ALONE in this journey of having been abused and forgiving
- Start their own Forgive & Live Journey
- Laugh, Cry and Be Fully Engaged
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