@

I lost my virginity thanks to a Youth Group outing and a group of impossibly large men.

OK, OK – not my real virginity. Being the good little Evangelical girl I was, I was saving that for my wedding night. But my spiritual virginity was as good as gone. Vamoose. Sold down the river to some guy named Jed. Or, more accurately, Scott.

We hadn’t exactly planned it. There was no flag raised in the days leading up to the earth-shattering event that read: THE END IS NEAR! How it managed to sneak up like that when we were trying to be so spiritual is beyond my comprehension. Sure, we’d snuck off to the back stairway a few times to make out. We were 14. We could hardly be blamed for a little hormonal playtime. But we had always had our boundaries. In the final analysis, I simply refuse to acknowledge that this tear in my spiritual hymen was entirely our fault.

That fateful weekend, we boarded the Youth Group bus along with 30 or so other hormonal teens for a field trip. The bus, whose name was “Gus” for God’s Ultimate Servant, had been our project the previous year. We’d had a pancake supper to raise enough funds to buy it secondhand, with the intention of being able to bus kids to church on Sunday who didn’t have rides. We even spent one whole Saturday throwing day-glo paint at it in an attempt to make it the coolest vehicle for Christ in all of Colorado Springs. Unfortunately, there were only one or two kids who actually needed a ride and there seemed to be a bit of a debate as to whether they were coming with their parents’ permission or not. When the church board expressed concern about a potential lawsuit, its Sunday morning glory ride was retired soon after. But when it was field trip time, it was Gus’s time to shine.

This wasn’t just any field trip, mind you. We, along with half the city it seemed, were headed to the city arena where we would watch gape-jawed as muscle-encased men bent rebar with their teeth and broke blocks of fiery ice with their foreheads.

That’s right, John Jacobs and the Power Team had come to our town. Boy, was our Youth Pastor jazzed. He had even worn his muscle shirt which read “Jesus!” across the front, where the middle “s” was in the shape of a lightning bolt. Beaming Scott and I herded in with the crowd to take our seats in one of the balconies.

Over the course of the next two hours, we were awed by these modern-day Sampsons. There must have been at least seven of them. Huge, hulking men with a clear message for Christ in between acts of wonder – changing the world, one head-bashed brick at a time. One of them would stand before us as John Jacobs narrated for us something along these lines.

“See this man? His name is Bo.”

A giant of a male specimen would stand before us, his muscles quivering in the spotlights like a Clydesdale’s.

“He gave his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ eight years ago. Bo is no pansy, folks, he stands 6’5” and weighs in at 322 pounds. Don’t be fooled by his massive exterior ladies, he’s a got a teddy bear heart.”

The women in the audience raised up a collective giggle. I felt on top of the world and even allowed myself to wonder whether he would find me attractive if we were stuck in an elevator together.

“Now you’ve already seen him crush through a wall of ice 8 feet thick tonight. But that ain’t nothin’.The thing about Bo is – the crazy thing about Bo is – he’s got a set of lungs like you wouldn’t believe.Now he’s gonna take this water bottle…” We all watch in rapt attention as he dangles an ordinary hot water bottle before us, “…he’s gonna take this hot water bottle and he’s gonna blow it up until it pops like a toy balloon.”

Shocked that a mere mortal can accomplish such an act, we burst into applause. I am feeling faint. I looked over at Scott, who is glowing at me.

“Now this ain’t no toy. Heh heh. Just so you know that we’re not playing any tricks on you tonight, I’ve invited an expert in the field to determine whether this is, in fact, a genuine hot water bottle.Grandma, can you come up here for a moment?”

We cheer as a frail looking woman approaches the stage. We are reverently amused at the contrast between grandmother and grandson. She speaks something crackly into the mike and we raise a mighty cheer. Bo stands before us now and puts his lips to the bottle. Guitars scream over the speaker system and a beat thumps through our skeletons.

“Now ladies and gentlemen,” John tells us over the music as Bo begins to blow. “This is something Bo has done over 1,000 times. If he fails, a rush of air so strong will force its way back into his lungs, causing them to burst. Just because he’s done it before, does not ensure his success. Do not attempt this at home. Just one mistake, ladies and gentlemen. Just one mistake…”

The suspense builds as Bo blows into the hot water bottle. He hesitates a little and I hear our Youth Pastor James behind us begging, “Please Jesus.” Bo seems to get over his hump and deposits another lungful of air into the hot water bottle, now as big as a soccer ball. He’s on a roll now. It’s as big as a five gallon cooler. He huff huff huffs into the bottle until – POW! It explodes like a flimsy balloon! Oh!If only my grandma could see what they had done to her beloved hot water bottle, it would blow her mind! How great the strength of Jesus is! Scott grabs me around the shoulder and pulls me in for a victory squeeze. Oh yes! How great He is indeed!

Bo who can blow diminishes during the applause to the back of the line-up just as another hulk of a man jogs up to the front. He has a phone book in his hands. Effortlessly, he R-R-RIPS it in two! The crowd goes crazy. But they are just warming up. We have yet to witness John Jacobs, himself, snap the chains between not one, but TWO sets of handcuffs from his wrists. The music is cut off so that we can hear the sound of the chains as they tear. People around me cry out, “Jesus!” just before he does it. We hear the mighty snap. HE DOES IT! It’s a MIRACLE! How we praise Jesus for breaking the chains that bound us after that! The crowd goes NUTS! I’m crying. Scott is screaming. People have their hands in the air to thank the Father above for these men who remind us of only a fraction of His power.

An altar call is initiated. The Power Team boasts that 2-3 out of every 10 people who show up to their performances give their lives to Christ – and I can see from my place in the balcony that it’s at least that many. People are pouring down the aisles to give their lives to Christ – and perhaps to also touch the members of the Power Team. John Jacobs is there to lay his hands on foreheads and slap high fives. And it really is that amazing. People are changed. Some people are healed. Many are saved.

In the years since my attendance at the city arena that night in Colorado Springs, I have lived in several different places. Currently, I live in Boulder, Colorado – which everybody knows is 25 square miles surrounded by reality – and I’m not so sure that the Power Team would go over so well with this crowd. The people here are entirely too, I don’t know – metero, or something. The idea of testosterone-dripping, red meat-eating men (and now one woman) might be seen as an affront to our patchouli-scented little utopia here. Well, they might dig the chick – but that’s not the point. I imagine that if a group like John Jacobs and the Power Team wanted to come to Boulder, it would have to switch up its gig. Perform amazing feats of yoga, or something like that. Francis Lee Mao-Mao and the Amazing Bendable Team. Their tag-line could be something like, “Changing the world one asana at a time,” or “Bending over to win you to Christ.” Whatever the case, if it wanted any success at all, it would have to adapt.

But we had seen just what we needed to see that night. Jesus truly wasn’t for sissies. He was strong.Indisputable. In control. Virile…

Back on the bus after a two-hour long adrenaline rush, we were exhausted. My friend Gina and her boyfriend Todd sat opposite us in the back seat of the bus, laughing privately about some inside joke.Some of the kids, still jazzed by the evening’s performance, were loud at first, but quickly settled in to a pattern of silence. Some even fell asleep. I fell into Scott’s arms.

It was just a lot of kissing at first, I swear. We had been through a lot together that evening and we just felt so…close. So ooey-gooey, ishy-squishy close. At first, when he began touching me under my shirt, I was alarmed. But he just said, “Shhh, I think God has given us to each other.” Well, that just about made my heart go crazy with desire. To think that God had preordained us to be together!

I did peek over at Gina and Todd once or twice, but they were too distracted to notice what was going down in the seat next to them. Finally, I just settled in to the ecstasy of it all.

Don’t get me wrong. I said earlier in this chapter that nothing happened, and in Clinton-speak, nothing did. I absolutely, verifiably, most emphatically did not lose my “technical virginity” that night.But I’d read enough in the days leading up to that to know that there is a thing called “spiritual virginity” in the Evangelical world that sounded just as ominous if not more so. When a girl loses her “technical virginity,” for example, it is impossible to get it back. It is possible, however, through the grace of Jesus to regain one’s “spiritual virginity” – even if one’s “technical virginity” has been lost.

Well, my friends, I stand before you today to tell you that I did not lose my “technical virginity” that fateful night on Gus the Bus. But what I did lose was perhaps something far more valuable, because it involved the way I thought about the world and the way I fit into it. Because I learned something about myself that night. And that one thing is this: Bo’s not the only one who can blow.

*Excerpt taken from “In Handbasket: Confessions of a Recovering Evangelical.”

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Erika Rae ERIKA RAE is the author of Devangelical, a humor memoir about growing up Evangelical (Emergency Press, December, 2012). She is editor-in-chief at Scree Magazine and nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. Erika earned her MA in Lit­er­a­ture and Lin­guis­tics from the Uni­ver­sity of Hong Kong and to this day can ask where the bath­room is in Can­tonese, although it is likely that she will not under­stand the answer. In her dream world, she fan­cies her­self a kung fu mas­ter clev­erly dis­guised as a gen­tle moun­tain dweller, eagerly antic­i­pat­ing dan­ger at the bot­tom of every latte. When she is not whipping one of her 3 children and denying them bread with their broth, she runs an ISP with her husband from their home in the Colorado Rockies.

15 Responses to “I Hold John Jacobs and the Power Team Personally Responsible for the Loss of My Virginity”

  1. Erika Rae says:

    Original Comment Stream:

    34 Comments »

    Comment by jmb |Edit This
    2009-01-11 22:00:29
    Thank you Lord, for another recovering not-only evangelical but charismatic on TNB…..

    Ah the Power Team.
    Confirming the scripture “I will use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.”

    But it’s like shooting fish in a barrel no?
    You know what sucks? I kept wanting these sort of people to be cool and down to earth but I rarely met any of them that were.

    You know who was though?
    The Jim Rose Circus Sideshow.

    See, why do evangelicals have to be so predictable?

    Is Jesus rolling his eyes and laughing or does this also confirm the scripture
    “Jesus Wept.”

    Ah I dont know.

    Hey, what are you insinuating there at the end?

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    Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-11 22:20:55
    James Michael Blaine: I feel kinda queasy now. I just looked up the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow and found a most interesting link on YouTube… But seriously, how does one come to the point in one’s life when he or she thinks, “Hm. I’ll bet I could snort a condom up my nose and pull it out my mouth.”

    Yeah, so about the charismatic thing. While we Nazarenes weren’t exactly charismatic, I did rebel for a semester or so in high school and start going to New Life in CO Springs. Yup. Sat under the man himself. Well, not literally… Anyhow, we did occasionally have charismatic tendencies, only with modifications. “Amen” and “Preach it” may have been fairly common from the congregation, but we only raised one hand instead of two when feeling blessed. Crucial difference here. Also no tongues or dancing. Those were considered sinful and technically on par with murder.

    And I hope those tears are from laughing too hard. I know mine are. It’s really a miracle any of us are able to come through that and function at any level.

    So now – let’s hear your Power Team stories… I know you’ve got ‘em.

    Oh, and the last part was simply a metaphor. You know, um, like into a Kleenex. From all of those tears…of repentance. OK, I’m done.

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    Comment by Beanie |Edit This
    2009-01-11 22:55:29
    Oh, Erika. The dirty tissue. A cameo by Haggard himself. Quite nice.

    You have totally inspired me to write my memoir: “I lost my virginity to the village idiot.” Alas, it was the real deal. Sigh. I never had a spiritual virginity to lose. As a fully recovered Catholic, I am simply mystified by the cool factors of Gus the Bus, paint splatters, and a youth minister who uses the term “jazzed”. Ahhh, jealousy, she is a green-eyed monster!

    And, Scott, that sly dog — god needs me to feel your boobies? Remind me to put that on my parenting list of crazy things boys will say to get into a girl’s panties (or training bras).

    Great story. Can we read more, please? Someone MUST publish this gem very soon!! I need more confessions.

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    Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-11 23:13:16
    Oh, Gus was cool. Remind me some time to tell you about the time we took him to Mexico… He saw some serious action then, I tell you what.

    My claim to fame. I used to go watch Haggard preach. I was even almost moved to a two handed raise. He was just that good.

    And our Youth Pastor used terms like “jazzed” and “pumped up for the Lord” all the time. You should have seen him. He was awesome. He had this mullet that shone like glory…but I digress.

    I will be first in line for your memoir. There is quite simply no better title than that.

    I am nagging Scott for a comment. We shall see if he is brave enough to surface. He claims he was not yelling for the Power Team, but he was. I swear it.

    (For those of you just tuning in – I ended up marrying this horny teenager.)

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    Comment by karyn |Edit This
    2009-01-12 13:13:52
    I am second in line for Beanie’s memoir!

    Off topic, but did you hear that Haggard has a new HBO movie coming out — I think its called “The Trials of Ted Haggard” (I’m not making this up)

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    Comment by jmb |Edit This
    2009-01-11 23:58:24
    Heh for a minute there I thought ya’ll were talking about Merle Haggard.

    If you do want to hear Merle preach check out Sing Me Back Home.

    Wait! You married the boy from church!

    Aw, that’s wonderful.

    I confess, I find myself watching TBN late at night sometime, missing the good old black and white simplicity of the holy roller church.

    I wish I could write it – there’s so much there the Power Team and Christian Rock -Mercy, did you ever go see Carman? Oh boy.

    OK Sister Rae, I’m about to jump on top but its a Charismatic two-fer on TNB.

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    Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-12 08:44:25
    Of course I married the boy from church. We wanted to have sex! ( : (Got married at 19…)

    Wow. Lifetime ago.

    Carmen. Heck yes I went to go see him. I used to love it when he did the demon voice. Gave me the shivers.

    OK – I’m going to go read your post…

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    Comment by Irene Zion (Lenore’s Mom) |Edit This
    2009-01-12 06:13:12
    Oh, Erika Rae, How can you be sure that God didn’t give you and Scott to each other? Maybe Scott has special powers. We should definitely hear more about Scott.

    Also this book REALLY needs to be published.

    (I love “spiritual hymen.”)

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    Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-12 08:55:06
    Irene, I guess I don’t know… there’s a lot I don’t claim to know about that creative force some of us call “God.” I mean, I suppose it’s possible. I definitely believed it then (I let him touch my boobies!). Maybe God brought John Jacobs and the Power Team to our town just so that we would get together.

    Heh.

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    Comment by Jessica Anya Blau |Edit This
    2009-01-12 07:00:10
    Okay, will somebody publish this blessed book so I can find out how Erika and Scott ended up married, if Scott still uses the Jesus-Made-Me-Do-It line on her to get her to do things, how the two feel about Christ now, and if they’re still believers of any sort.

    Fabulous writing Erika. Serialize it here. I’m a fan.

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    Comment by Rich Ferguson |Edit This
    2009-01-12 07:33:07
    Great work, Erika.

    And I agree with Irene…love that spiritual hymen.

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Kat |Edit This
    2009-01-12 09:34:08
    Poor Erica.
    I hold your youth group leader responsible.

    My youth group leader was smart enough to have us write down and sign our contracts to remain virginal. It was VERY specific. We had a long, specific talk about the “slippery slope” between purity and fully-fledged fornication. Holding hands leads to kissing leads to petting leads to heavy petting (this is the part of the lecture where I was desperately afraid I was going to burst out laughing) leads to…and so and and so on. I’m sure I’m leaving a bunch out. I’ve repressed a great deal but I’m pretty sure the phrase “dry humping” came into it somewhere. I was sitting next to my seventh grade boyfriend at the time and since we were the only 2 in the room dating I swear everyone was watching us. I’m pretty sure my life was actually in danger due to the mortification. I knew I’d never be able to “pet my boyfriend’s ferret” (literally – he had a pet ferret) again without all the other youth groupies thinking sordid thoughts about the “petting and heavy petting.”

    Our youth leader warned us about the nature of of this sexual continuum. You might start out just kissing… but it was “like going downhill on a sled.” You pick up speed and temptation as you go, and it’s very, very difficult to go back to just kissing.

    So we had to write our own definition of abstinence and sign this contract with God.
    This would have saved you from Scott’s advances!!
    I, personally, signed a contract that I would no more than briefly hug and kiss until my wedding night!

    Or perhaps such a well planned and specific contract may not have saved you after all.

    My own contract with God just gave me extra heapings of guilt. I ended up feeling the shame and sin of “losing my virginity” about 50 times as I made my way down that slippery slope. (You know – when I kissed for longer than 5 seconds and other lewd acts.) So, perhaps a contract wouldn’t have saved you after all.

    I LOVE reading your stuff. I know people outside this little world will think you’re exaggerating, but in my mind it’s incredibly realistic. Brings back the memories…

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    Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-12 10:10:19
    Oh, Kat – that’s just the problem! We DID sign one of these contracts. My brother and sister in law found it inexplicably in their car a couple of years ago (I have NO idea how it got there as it had been written almost 20 years before.) Scott was to act like a perfect gentleman under penalty of lemon juice in paper cuts. And then, as if to add insult to injury, in college, we were actually distributed something called a “Tally Chart” from a visiting preacher named Reverend Tally. It was color coded from green to red – much like the Homeland Security alert system. It, too, included phrases like “dry humping” and “oral sex.” But when God has ordained two people to be together…well, it’s just hard to argue with that kind of divine logic.

    Or maybe the Power Team was just that good.

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    Comment by Kat |Edit This
    2009-01-12 11:08:38
    Did yours honestly have written in penalties?!?!
    Lemon juice and paper cuts for real???

    That is just too much!

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    Comment by Reno J. Romero |Edit This
    2009-01-12 10:26:40
    good storytelling is a blessing, erika (for lack of a better word). you have the stories. the funnies. the drama. but best of all you have the capability of bringing things to life. i was there.

    married at 19! did i hear that right? horn dog! horn dog 2x!

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    Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-12 11:44:58
    Oh yes, you heard correctly. 16 years of marriage, dude. Oh, not without rocky cliffs, quagmires and whatnot. We’ve had our share.

    Thanks for your nice words. Means a lot.

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Kimberly M. Wetherell |Edit This
    2009-01-12 10:32:03
    God seems to be a pervy bugger, doesn’t he? Telling all those young horn-dogs what and what not to do.

    I think God needs to get laid. Maybe we could all chip in and get him a nice hooker.

    Or Sarah Silverman.

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-12 10:36:27
    Oh my – I think I just hurt myself laughing.

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    Comment by Scott |Edit This
    2009-01-12 11:25:25
    It all makes sense when you realize that God looks like Alanis and Jesus was black.

    If I remember right, dearest love of my life, I wasn’t the only horny teenager in our little dance.

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-12 12:11:07
    Speaking of Alanis…

    Here is a hilarious video just sent to me by MY dearest love of my life – a snapshot of God????

    OK, seriously though – Alanis does “My Humps.” If you haven’t seen it yet, well, it’s quite possible you haven’t lived.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W91sqAs-_-g

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    Comment by Kimberly M. Wetherell |Edit This
    2009-01-12 12:38:36
    JesusMaryAndJoseph.

    That is the best video since OK GO.

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    Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-12 12:58:04
    Heh heh heh. That video is pure art.

    Comment by karyn |Edit This
    2009-01-12 13:22:40
    Kimberly — thank you for the gift of that video. That made my day, nay, my week. Fantastic!

    Reply here

    Comment by Jorge |Edit This
    2009-01-12 18:54:19
    I know I am late to the party, but Irene is SPOT-ON….THIS BOOK MUST BE PUBLISHED!!!

    Man, I never laughed so hard reading your first chapter on your site.

    I am starting a new campaign — PUBLISHING FOR RAE!

    Who’s with me?

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-12 19:03:30
    You made my day with that, Jorge. I am passing this link directly to my agent in hopes it will help any publishers who still happen to have money and who would like to join in the cause of poking a stick at our Evangelical roots. Thanks!!!

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Beanie |Edit This
    2009-01-12 19:44:42
    I’m with you!!!

    I mean, yes, I like reading on the computer as much as the next geek, but I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to the printed word. I’ll take Gutenberg over Gates any day of the week. (Though Gutenberg v. Jobs is a different story.)

    So, fellow fans, I ask you: what do we do to see Erika’s confession on paper in bookstores? Should we start a facebook group? Rally on the Mall in DC? I’ve been called to action — tell me, tell me, what should I do to see Erika’s confessions in print?

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Jorge |Edit This
    2009-01-12 21:38:09
    HERE, HERE!

    I feel like starting an Erika Rae Street Team.

    Anybody with me? I will totally start it up on MySpace — LET ME KNOW.

    [email protected] subject ER STREET TEAM and I will know whether or not to create it.

    Once it’s done, we add TONS of friends to it. Send the link to ALL publishers with money, one of them HAS to pick it up. Right?

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Schmerika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-12 23:20:25
    Dude, count me in. (You can’t see me, but I’m wearing mustache glasses.)

    Sha. I’m chuffed.

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Marni Grossman |Edit This
    2009-01-12 22:06:15
    That sort of shit would never motivate Jews. We lost our virginity- technical, spiritual, etc.- at sleep-away camp. To boys named Jacob and Ari. Boys who had good SAT scores and plans to attend Columbia or maybe Brandeis if he couldn’t get in. We lost our virginity to Bernie Medoff’s first cousin’s nephew.

    Body builders? Muscles? Not a turn-on for a Jewish girl. Show me those LSATS, baby, and I’ll show you my tits.

    Laughed so hard. Made my day. Joining the Erika Rae street team post-haste.

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    Comment by Erika Rae |Edit This
    2009-01-12 23:30:55
    Ha! Love it, Marni.

    Actually, I must confess that muscles don’t do it for me either. Not one iota. Brains have always triumphed over brawn for me, too. (No offense, honey. You’re the complete package.) I don’t know what the hell came over me that night. I am going to blame an arena packed with male pheromones on a carrier of spiritual deliverance.

    Yeah, I have no idea what I just said, either.

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Jorge |Edit This
    2009-01-13 12:50:15
    Yep, it’s done.

    Go here: http://www.myspace.com/erikarae_streetteam and sign up.

    Put your money where your mouth is, folks. Or, something like that.

    Come one, come all. Let’s get her published!

    =)

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Jennifer Duffield White |Edit This
    2009-01-13 18:08:07
    Erika,
    You rock. I love these excerpts. And that Power Team … I had no idea.

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Marie |Edit This
    2009-01-30 16:20:32
    So are things good things being said about the John Jacobs Power Team or bad?

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Michael Lawson |Edit This
    2009-04-01 05:07:27
    While loking for information good or bad about this power team I found your article. Sounds like your youth pastor needed some rules on the bus so I don’t think you can blame the Power Team completly for losing your “spiritual virginity”. Plus it sounds like sin may have already been conceived in your heart before you ever watched the power team. While breaking the chains is no “miracle” people often us these types of illustrations in regards to being in bondage to sin. I can think of at least one popular hymn called “Amazing Grace” that uses the chain illustration. Anyhow thanks for the article it will help decide to attend or not.

  2. Flea says:

    Erika, I have no idea who you are, but thank you for a good laugh. :)

    I got a book today in a bag of free things (yes, I’m a scavenger), titled, The Ultimate Champions, by John Jacobs. I laughed and laughed as I showed it to my husband. Sobered up as I read the sappy-crappy positive thinking dedication in the front. Then looked him up. And this post showed up.

    I saw the Power Team when I was in college, as well as Carmen. Did my own bit of touchy-feeley at a Carmen concert. *shudder* My friends and I spent the entire PT performance mocking them while the crowd went wild.

    Thanks for taking me down mammary – er, memory – lane.

  3. Erika Rae says:

    Mammary lane – hahaha. What was it about those venues that got all of us good little Youth Groupies so…horny? Oh wait, we were teenagers. OK. And still!

    Thanks for reading, Flea.

    • blackmist says:

      i personal agree with the comment by diane. from where i’m sittting you made the choice to let things get out of control. You say it’s the power teams fault or you blame God. you say you grew up in church and thats cool. The way your talking here shows me you know ABOUT GOD and i’m glad you do. My question is do you know HIM. Do you understand what he did for you? I can put it to you like this: When we first settle this country and founded this great nation we set it up according to the word of God. Yet we also did some very foolish things too. Like putting the native americans on reservations. Now the place works like the state there is local law and then you also have the federal law. there was a chief of one of these reservations and it is sorta like where you live now. well the crime rate went outta control on this reservation so the chief being wise and a just man that he is made the law that the next person to steal would be put to death well that lasted a couple year till finally the people in the village caught someone who had stole some things they put a bag over there head and brought them out to the chief and told him what had happened and said but see we caught him and here he is now they went out to the tree to beat this person to death coz he broke the law. when they got out to the tree the chief remove the bag and it was his own mother. now he is caught this is his mom the one that raised him and taught him but what can he do the law is the law the price had to be paid so the chief put his mom on the tree and took his own shirt off and covered his mom and was beat to death afterward his mom was set free she lived another 20-30 years the price paid for by what her son had done. Now, that brings me to this point God is God just and true but he loved you and everyone in this world that he sent Jesus to pay that very same price the wages of sin is death but you can be thankful Jesus paid your debt. before the time of jesus people who sinned even a little under the shirt playing around as what happen on the gus bus that night after you saw the power team. back then they were stoned to death but Jesus saw you erika rae he saw you and laid his life down for you he saw the world and he took sin and paid the price so we could live free today. the bible says that everyman or woman everyone falls short of the glory of God but pick yourself up and keep going. So I see alot of people on here saying i know about God but my question is do YOU KNOW HIM. you can quote from the bible all day long till your blue in the face but do you KNOW JESUS. would you know him if he walked in your house like your closest friend and said hi. DO YOU KNOW HIM? is he real in your life. I’m not talking about church or religion i’m talk about a personal friend and to me his Name is Jesus Christ Lord of Lords and King of Kings

  4. Diane says:

    I’m glad you find yourself so amusing but what a cheap shot to use the Power Team brand to get someone to read this dribble. I fail to see the logical connection between your typical teenage back seat experience and the Power Team.

  5. blackmist says:

    i personal agree with the comment by diane. from where i’m sittting you made the choice to let things get out of control. You say it’s the power teams fault or you blame God. you say you grew up in church and thats cool. The way your talking here shows me you know ABOUT GOD and i’m glad you do. My question is do you know HIM. Do you understand what he did for you? I can put it to you like this: When we first settle this country and founded this great nation we set it up according to the word of God. Yet we also did some very foolish things too. Like putting the native americans on reservations. Now the place works like the state there is local law and then you also have the federal law. there was a chief of one of these reservations and it is sorta like where you live now. well the crime rate went outta control on this reservation so the chief being wise and a just man that he is made the law that the next person to steal would be put to death well that lasted a couple year till finally the people in the village caught someone who had stole some things they put a bag over there head and brought them out to the chief and told him what had happened and said but see we caught him and here he is now they went out to the tree to beat this person to death coz he broke the law. when they got out to the tree the chief remove the bag and it was his own mother. now he is caught this is his mom the one that raised him and taught him but what can he do the law is the law the price had to be paid so the chief put his mom on the tree and took his own shirt off and covered his mom and was beat to death afterward his mom was set free she lived another 20-30 years the price paid for by what her son had done. Now, that brings me to this point God is God just and true but he loved you and everyone in this world that he sent Jesus to pay that very same price the wages of sin is death but you can be thankful Jesus paid your debt. before the time of jesus people who sinned even a little under the shirt playing around as what happen on the gus bus that night after you saw the power team. back then they were stoned to death but Jesus saw you erika rae he saw you and laid his life down for you he saw the world and he took sin and paid the price so we could live free today. the bible says that everyman or woman everyone falls short of the glory of God but pick yourself up and keep going. So I see alot of people on here saying i know about God but my question is do YOU KNOW HIM. you can quote from the bible all day long till your blue in the face but do you KNOW JESUS. would you know him if he walked in your house like your closest friend and said hi. DO YOU KNOW HIM? is he real in your life. I’m not talking about church or religion i’m talk about a personal friend and to me his Name is Jesus Christ Lord of Lords and King of Kings

  6. Erika Rae says:

    It’s OK that you and Diane don’t share the same sense of humor as I do. Really it is. A lot of people don’t think my writing is all that funny.

    I appreciate your concern for my soul. Of course I don’t really blame God or the Power Team for what happened. This is from my perspective more of a tongue-in-cheek commentary about that style of church culture and the hormonal soup in the Youth Group. Sorry if it offends you. At the same time, you don’t know me from Eve and you’ve made a pretty bold assumption and judgment about my spiritual condition by demanding to know if I know Jesus in all caps.

    I get the feeling that you think my honesty about what happens in the youth group cheapens the message. Maybe it does for some. Maybe for others, it’s about getting real and honest about faith. It’s entirely possible that I simply believe that punching through blocks of ice and ripping phone books in half cheapens the message.

    But like I said, if you don’t get my humor, that’s OK. It won’t be the first time. I wish you well.

  7. paul says:

    Erika,

    First, I completely dig laughing, and laughing at our Christian upbringings which were somewhat ridiculous at times…And…no…this is not where I segway into why i disagree. Because I don’t.

    Mainly you have me very intrigued and slightly confused, mainly because I’m looking for your book and am wondering when it’s coming out. I think I saw one place it said Spring 2011. Then February 2012?

    Checked your twitter account (I think?) but doesn’t seem you’ve been there for a while.

    Basically I’ve tried to social media stalk you and it’s not working well. Did you get abducted by Focus on the Family?

    • Erika Rae says:

      OK – you totally succeeded in sending me into a giggle fit that may or may not let up before the sun sets tonight. You know…my dad ran against Shirley Dobson for class president at college and lost, so I fully believe that the Dobsons are a force. Also, I made a trek past there a week ago and felt that the force was strong. Fortunately, it was working in the direction of repulsion and not attraction, so I think I’m OK.

      Yeah, the book was rescheduled for Feb 2012. I’m in the deep dark depths of editing as we speak. ( : Find me on Facebook: Erika Rae. I want to hear your story, too!

      • Paul says:

        Ha! No way your dad ran against Shirley Dobson for class president?! I can’t believe it.

        One – because what are the odds I make a bizarre Focus on the Family reference to only connect with what surely is a deep family wound.

        Then two – No right minded person takes on Shirley Dobson — even if she wasn’t THE Shirley Dobson yet.

        Good to know the book is still moving forward, even though I would not wish the deep languishing of editing your own book upon even my 7th grade bully. (I think I totaled 5 unique edit sessions, which equated to 5 unique sessions of why the hell am I doing this again). But yes my book Are You My Life?: Searching for Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job! was set for July 2011 but is looking like it might be delayed until Fall. We’ll see…

  8. chasy says:

    I found this post by googling “power team”. I honestly do NOT know what brought Power Team to mind tonight; it literally popped into my head out of nowhere. And now that my faith is real and I’m actually learning about God and His Word, I found myself recalling Power Team events and thinking, “were those guys for real??” It all just seems so…cheesy and overdriven now. But I grew up in Texas and that’s pretty much Christianity in a nutshell ’round those parts.

    Your bit about the water bottle made me laugh OUT LOUD, because right up until that description, my memories were still vague and all I specifically remembered was red and black, phone books, and loud giant men. But when you quoted John Jacobs and his spiel about air rushing into the guy’s lungs…*shaking head* Talk about memories rushing back! :P

    I haven’t explored the rest of your blog yet. There’s a book, huh? I’m gonna have to check that out and sign up for some kind of list or sumpthin’ so I don’t forget about it by 2012.

    I find it incredibly romantic that you married the kid on the bus. I also find it incredibly cheesy that I find it romantic but I’m okay with that. Cos it’s seriously sweet and romantic and ishy-gishy. Seriously. I’m using funny-sounding words to cover up the fact that I’m serious and then blowing my own cover by repeating the word ‘seriously’.

    That’s how romantic I think it is. :D

  9. basketball trophies…

    The Nervous Breakdown…

  10. beach body workout…

    [...]Erika Rae | I Hold John Jacobs and the Power Team Personally Responsible for the Loss of My Virginity | The Nervous Breakdown[...]…

  11. LT says:

    John came to my town years ago. I once looked up to this guy, but I am so glad I’ve found better role models since. It seems some of his past is catching up with him, assault charges, income reporting descrepencies, divorce, etc., etc. Does this sound like a real Christian?

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