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Mike Shreve was a teacher of yoga at four universities. (The portrait above was drawn by one of his students in 1970.) Then a spiritual rebirth brought him into a real relationship with God and drastically changed his heart, his life and his belief system.  Read his story here.

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Site Completed–10/15/01
Major Revision—5/28/03
Last Updated–03/19/09

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Mike Shreve.
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Terry Justison's Story

Kriya and Kundalini Yoga

I grew up in central Florida in the 1960s. I lost contact with the Lord in junior high and began seeking happiness through materialism and my senses. The Supreme Court ended school prayer in 1962 the year I graduated from high school. The secular community was slowly chipping away at America's morality. Christianity was becoming less popular. Eastern religions were gaining in popularity. Creation as taught by the Bible was out. Evolution was in. No longer was man created by God, now he had evolved from monkeys and apes. God was gradually being removed from our culture. And the God that remained was more of a generic God that everyone found acceptable. Tolerance was in. It was more important not to offend someone than it was to practice righteousness and morality. Preservation of our right to free speech as provided by the first amendment was being used to make inroads for all sorts of immoral activity such as pornography and the sexual explicitness and violence in movies, television, and music. Abortion was becoming acceptable. I barely noticed any of this. I graduated with an engineering degree from the University of Florida in 1966. I partied a lot until I reached 30 and then realized that most of my 20s were a waste. During this period and up to 1987 I was a systems programmer on large mainframe IBM computers. I was an expert programmer in COBOL and assembly language. Reading system dumps was my specialty. I was trained in installing and supporting IMS and MVS software systems. In 1973 I got married and we began working on the American dream. By 1987 I was burned out. Out of frustration we sold everything, retired, bought a motorhome and traveled mainly in the West until 1992. I was desperately looking for some meaning to life. I was searching for inner peace. I was ready for a spiritual awakening.

In 1989 I heard a voice telling me to investigate Yoga. So I began to read about Yoga and Eastern philosophy. I began doing yoga asanas (postures). In 1993 we sold our motorhome and settled down in Jerome, AZ. near the new age capital - Sedona. We started a business - a gallery that featured our custom gold jewelry inlaid with opal and diamonds. We had learned how to make custom jewelry while traveling in our motorhome. The business was quite successful. About that time I read "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Yogananda and discovered Kriya Yoga. Babaji was of special interest to me. Then I discovered a Yoga sect called Babaji's Kriya Yoga led by Marshall Govindan. In December of 1994 I attended a two-day 1st level initiation in Phoenix. Then in March of 1995 I attended a two-day 2nd level initiation in Sedona. During July of 1996 I went to a 10 day 3rd level initiation near Montreal. This was highest level of initiation. We were initiated into all 144 kriyas including several "samadhi" kriyas that were of primary interest to me. In March 1999 I attended another 2nd level retreat at Sedona. I thought I had found the answer to all my spiritual yearnings in Kriya Yoga. Almost from the beginning I started getting up at 3:30 AM doing kriya kundalini pranayam, meditation, japa (mantras), and asanas for 4-5 hours daily. I was very serious about finding God and I was convinced that Kriya Kundalini Yoga was the high road to God. I read every book I could get my hands on about Eastern Mysticism. But little did I know that events were shaping which would lead me in a totally different direction spiritually. In September 1999 we sold our business, retired for a second time, and relocated somewhat reluctantly for me to a small town in south central Florida. I tried mightily to build a case for staying out West in California or Arizona, but every attempt was thwarted for one reason or another. I now believe that God wanted us in Florida for reasons that were soon to play out.

After we were settled down, my wife discovered the Potter's House, a Christian girl's home run by Manny and Sandy Lopes. Manny and Sandy are a very devout Christian couple who were called by God around 1980. Shortly after being called by God - at God's request they formed a non-profit corporation and gave all their assets to it. Today their only possession is a 1987 Ford van with 200,000+ miles on it. They receive no pay. They literally live in a large 3 story home with up to 24 teenage girls and up to 5 babies. The organization they formed has evolved into the Potter's House Girl's Home. The Potter's House is also a ranch with 20 fenced in acres and 7 horses and a donkey. There is a separate school and dorm. It is run by donations only (there is no use of government funds). They also handle the adoptions for the pregnant teenage girls who do not wish to keep their babies. Also there is a program for the placement of babies in private homes for female prison inmates while they are in jail. The usual term of stay for a girl at the home is 18-22 months. The girls range in age from 13 - 17 when they come. Some of the girls come there due to teen-age pregnancy. But most are placed there as a last resort by parents or the courts because of drug use, rebellious behavior, and running away. Other than the volunteers, the home is run entirely by Manny and Sandy, a couple of teachers, and a very efficient secretary/administrator.

After my wife had been volunteering there for several months she talked me into coming over to assist her. The fact that I went was a miracle of itself. Soon I looked forward to going. But the real transformation for me was yet to come. After a couple of months I began to notice the transformation taking place in the girls especially the newer ones. I could see that spirituality had a lot to do with changing the girls, and I had to give credit to the Christian ministry that was a big part of the program. Then one weekend Manny and Sandy left us with the girls as house parents for a couple of days while they went to Orlando which then turned into four days. It happened to be a weekend when there was a guest speaker at the church that the Potter's House attends regularly. I hadn't been to church for over 30 years and had been thinking we should start going. Also I had been thinking I should start reading the Bible so I could talk more intelligently about Christianity. Anyway we ended up taking the girls to church twice on Sunday and again on Monday and Tuesday night.

Well I really liked the church service and was amazed at the presence of God I felt. So we just started going to this church. Church was not like I remembered it. People were actually happy and friendly. There was no hellfire and damnation preaching. Then there was the "good news" about Jesus, Son of God, born of a virgin into a human body to experience life as man…Jesus growing up living a life totally free from sin…Jesus being tempted by Satan - big time…Jesus knowing firsthand exactly what man was experiencing in the world…Jesus, son of God, coming not as a conqueror; but as a humble servant preaching righteousness, healing the sick, raising the dead…Then Jesus dying on the Cross as the ultimate sacrifice for man's sin. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life" John 3:16. Jesus arising from the dead after three days… And then the good news about the "Holy Spirit" making God available to everyone on a personal basis after the resurrection of Jesus…And finally the good new of eternal life for all true believers. Somehow, except for the arising from the dead, I never really got the good news in my early Christian days. This was a God I could love and worship.

Then came the day when the Pastor of our church called. I talked to her for a while wondering what the call was about (she had never called me before). After a while the Pastor mentioned that God had asked her to call me, but she didn't really say why. Well the fact that God had asked her to call me really got my attention. At some point I mentioned my Yoga practice of 4-5 hours each day figuring that would impress her and she got real quiet. I could tell she didn't approve, but she didn't say much more.

The next day was Wednesday - prayer night - and as my wife and I walked into the church that evening the Pastor handed me a VCR tape. It turns out she had been ordained by Mike Shreve many years (in the 1980's) earlier and he had given her this VCR tape back then. She had never had any reason to watch it and had just put the tape on a shelf. In fact the tape had not even been available for a number of years and Mike Shreve hadn't been in our town for 10 years or more. The video was Mike Shreve's testimony about when he converted from Yoga to Christianity and the material he had gathered comparing Christianity to Eastern religions. When I started watching the video I knew what was going to happen almost at once. In one hour, through a strong and logical presentation, he made me question every Eastern spiritual belief I had been harboring.

The next day I called Mike in Tennessee. It turned out that in a week Mike just happened to be coming to Tampa for three days. He wanted me to meet him there at a church on Sunday. I knew I had to go see him. On Sunday I fought a battle in my mind over whether or not I should go, and finally decided not to go. But then my conscience bothered me all day Monday and I knew I had to go that night. So my wife and I went. At the end of the service he asked if there were any people who wanted to come forward and be saved. My wife and I went forward. We met Mike for the first time, prayed with him, and were saved. I was also baptized in the Holy Spirit. That night I felt the presence of the Holy Ghost for the first time and have felt it ever since. The next week I mailed some of my Yoga and Eastern religion books to Mike for his reference library on Eastern religions and burned the rest of my Eastern religious materials (about 50 books) as a sacrifice to my commitment to Lord Jesus Christ.

Mike Shreve's studies of Eastern religions reaches the conclusion that all the new age philosophies, Yoga/Hinduism, Eastern Mysticism, Buddhism, etc. are definitely sincere and often loving attempts to discover ultimate reality; but fail to take a person into the true experience of God. I have met Mike Shreve and he is more powerful and spiritually blessed than anyone else I have met. I had studied Eastern religions for 8 years and his message caused me to re-evaluate and change my ideas on every major doctrine that I embraced. This was not something easily accomplished in someone who had been practicing yoga for 4-5 hours a day for 8 years. I had some interesting spiritual experiences practicing Kriya Kundalini Yoga. But for the last couple of years of my Yoga practice doubts were nagging at me. I didn't feel that I was going to advance any further. Even my most intense meditation experiences had a certain void to them. I now believe that what was missing was God.

Mantras had always worked powerfully for me, but I began having doubts about my mantra (Gayatri - which is the major one for Hindus). It bothered me that I wasn't even given the meaning of the mantra at initiation. My guru told me not to worry about the meaning of the words, which were in an ancient Indian language. He taught that they were secret syllables and sounds, which caused enlightenment over time. In fact, most of the teachings of Babaji's Kriya Yoga were presented as secret and not available to the general public. Pranayam techniques were super secret, etc. You had to go special initiations and pay a guru to teach you these techniques and swear not to reveal them to anyone else. Why would God want to keep the most straightforward path to enlightenment secret from most people? In fact, Jesus taught his disciples, "Freely you have received, now freely give" (Mathew 10:8).

Getting back to the mantra. When I was initially introduced to mantras in March of 1995, Govindan mentioned a book "The Way of a Pilgrim" as a reference for the use of mantras. In fact this is the only book he ever mentioned in regards to mantras that I can remember. I got a copy of the book and I really liked it. It was a Christian book about interior prayer of the heart. After reading this book I was drawn to the Jesus Prayer and the technique it describes even over my high powered Hindu mantra by which I was fast approaching a major sidhi. A major sidhi involved repeating a mantra one million eighty thousand times. This was done with a string of prayer beads to keep track of the number of repetitions. It took me about three hours to do a thousand repetitions of the Gayatri mantra. So in a year I could do about three hundred and fifty thousand repetitions of the mantra. I had a lot of time invested in the Gayatri mantra. I was reluctant to stop for fear I was near a major spiritual break through. But it seemed I had reached a plateau on the Gayatri mantra that I could not pass. I had committed my search for God primarily around pranayam and the mantra. But, I had been having doubts about this path for a year or more before I came in contact with the Christians. Still I was reluctant to leave the mantra because of all the effort I had put into it. I did often get kind of a peaceful high on the mantra, but there was no evidence of the God I so wanted to feel the presence of. Several months before I was saved (accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior) at the meeting with Mike Shreve in Tampa, I just dropped the mantra and began doing prayer of the heart.

Basically my reason for leaving Yoga was that I felt the need to worship God. I wanted a God I could love. My favorite part of church is the Praise and Worship segment. Eastern religions aren't really about worship. The Gods in Eastern religions like the Buddha or the Atman and Brahman are too impersonal for me. I like the living God of the Bible and his Son Jesus. This is a God that I not only want to worship, but also to love. And Jesus, once you read about Jesus in the Bible, who cannot help but love him and get tears in their eyes at the very thought of who He was and what He did. I am sorry but I cannot consider Babaji, Muhamed, Krisna, Rama, Vishnu, Siva, Ganesha, etc. as God or even remotely equivalent to Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Only Jesus arose from the dead after three days. Only Jesus died on the cross for the sins of man. Only Jesus promises us eternal life if we but believe. Since I started attending church I have consistently felt God's presence more than at any time in any new age or yoga gathering. Our minister is a woman who has more of a presence of God than any Yoga guru I have met. Mike Shreve has a great spiritual presence. They are very humble and give all the credit to the God the Father and his Son Jesus.

Christianity has the Bible. It can be verified and crosschecked by numerous ancient documents. There are hundreds of prophecies and cross-references in the Bible that all correlate and match. The Bible is the inspired word of God and is accepted as fact by all Christians. The ancient Jews were extremely careful students of the Jewish religion. They did not believe that Jesus was the true Messiah and wanted to discredit him. If there were any discrepancies in the New Testament (especially regarding Jesus who they crucified) they would have disclosed them. But there is no record of their finding any discrepancies. We know there was a Jesus. Even the calendar year starts at Jesus' birth year. Eastern religion has nothing remotely equivalent to the Bible. The books of Yoga and Hinduism such as the Vedas and Bhagavad Gita read like fiction to me now. Many Yoga gurus use Bible quotes to back up their teachings. Anyone knowledgeable about the Bible knows that it most definitely teaches against other religions and cults. The Jewish people were constantly getting in trouble for turning to other gods, idolatry, paganism, etc. Any quotes from the Bible that are being used to support Eastern religious beliefs are definitely being used out of context. It is interesting that Yoga gurus would quote the Bible to support their views. This act implies their endorsement of the Bible. In Christianity the Bible is the only written reference needed.

The Eastern religions teach that God is within us…and that all paths lead to God. Basically they are so flexible that we can create our own religion and eliminate any parts that we may not want to follow. It's so easy, a person just meditates on the inner self that is God and eventually becomes God and one with everything. I no longer subscribe to this approach. My experience with the true and living God has convinced me that the methods I was taught fail to produce their promised results. Accept Jesus into your heart as Lord of your life and your Savior and be filled with the Holy Ghost and feel the real presence of God. I can testify that this method will produce the desired results - bringing one into the presence of God. As to there being many paths to God, in John 14:6 Jesus said "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, No one comes to the Father except through Me."

So here is my advice. Give Jesus a chance. For several days give the time and effort you would normally devote to your Eastern religion to Jesus. Read the New Testament starting at the Gospel of St. John. Instead of doing meditation or mantras, pray. Pray to Jesus for help and assistance. Contact one of the persons whose testimonies are on this site. Begin attending church. Try several to find one that fits your needs. Accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and the Lord of your life. Feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and be forever changed.

One more thought. The Potter's House refers to Jeremiah 18 where the Lord is shaping and molding a lump of clay into a beautiful vessel. Recently it occurred to me that whereas I thought I was a volunteer doing good works at the Potter's House - that actually I was there just like the girls to be shaped and reformed. In fact the girls have probably done more work transforming me than I have on them. So instead of Manny and Sandy getting a volunteer they just got more work to do. In fact the morning when I initially started writing this testimony I had a vision that God had me on the potter's wheel. That he was molding and reshaping me. He still has a lot of work to do on me.

May God Bless,

Terry Justison


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