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Couple Puts Love First
After 20 years of climbing the corporate ladder, he still smoked dope and feared being caught. All that changed when he found out that Jesus died for him.

There was a point when John Frasier wouldn't dare set foot in a church.

"Until that point, no one would come near me. My wife couldn't believe the change … ."

Today, he's not only attending church every Sunday—Frasier helps run a bi-annual conference that draws people closer to God.

At 18 years of age, Frasier set out on his own and "got caught up in smoking, drinking and doing drugs."

He recalls, "Life was crazy. Work was the only peace I had. When work was over, the rage would start again."

Four years ago, Frasier—a foundation-layer for residential homes—was at the end of his rope.

"I'd spent 20 years working my way up the corporate ladder and here I was still smoking dope and I was afraid of being caught. Then my son caught me and that was embarrassing."

Todd Miller, pastor of Red Willow Church in St. Albert, AB, and a long-time friend of Frasier's, invited him to attend an event his church sponsored—the First Love Conference.

Comments Frasier, "I heard [Red Willow was] different; the acceptance they had for one another took me by surprise. They were willing to accept me for who I was."

Miller founded First Love in 1999, after attending a secular conference called Choices. "[Choices] helped people identify what they want more of in life and how to get it." Explains Rick Mutchi, a First Love attendee-turned-conference facilitator. "Todd decided to design this program for [people] who want to draw closer to God."

"I had an inner fight just to get myself there," relates Frasier. "I got through the first night with a tough-guy attitude."

Things changed Saturday night during a period of sharing.

"I got up and shared. I wasn't sure what I was going to say. I told them, 'I came here to tell you a ghost story but now I'm not gonna.' I admitted I was a drug addict. As I talked and the pastor communicated back with me, I admitted I wanted a relationship with God. Pastor quoted Scriptures and I kept saying 'I need God's light on me.'"

One of the Training Assistants took Frasier to the side for some one-on-one time. "She had me close my eyes and visualize the cross. She asked me who I saw on the cross and I said, 'I see me.' I didn't understand why Jesus should be on the cross; why He had to die for me.

"My smile came back," continues Frasier. "Up until that point, no one would come near me. My wife couldn't believe the change. The desire for dope was gone. I flushed the drugs I had left at home down the toilet. I no longer smoked or cursed. My whole attitude was changed."

Frasier and his wife, Sheila, were so moved by the sincerity of Red Willow Church that they moved from Leduc to St. Albert to attend it. Frasier also acts as a Training Assistant for the conference.

"The weekend is all about experiences," says Mutchi. "There are no lectures and no preaching, just a series of processes and games, one-on-one or small group activities as well as large group. We work to make them interesting but also confrontational; shake them up to get them out of the ruts that keep them from making progress."

The conference focused on two questions: What do you want more of in your life, and What is keeping you from getting it?

"We believe God is our biggest cheerleader who spares no effort to save us, not extinguish us," says Mutchi.

The Conference, held this past April was free of charge and open to everyone. "We believe that God doesn't charge us anything for His grace, so why should we charge others to hear about it?" explains Mutchi.

This giving attitude is being well-received.

As Frasier puts it, "God gave me what I couldn't do for myself at the time. I'm a confident man now, chosen by God."

Misty Grimes is a writer based in Milledgeville, Ga. She can be reached at P.O. Box 2014, Hardwick, GA 31034. Tel: (478) 451-0687. E-mail: Her website is:

Originally published in Living Light News, March/April 2005.




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