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Ken Birks in Vietnam

Testimonies of My Life
Before Christ and After Christ

The Adventures of Space and Hobo is a testimony of my life before Christ and how He never gave up on me while I wasted my life away on drugs and adventure. The Journey gives you a glimpse into the invisible path God has for all of us who come to know Him. Along the way we discover the destiny and purpose He has for for as we begin to discover the role He has created for us. Throughout the book I share my examples of how the Lord has led me for over 40 years.

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Books and Resources by Kenneth L. Birks
The Journey: Discovering The Invisible Path

Book: The Journey by Kenneth L. BirksShaped by the Word & The Invisbile Path

After returning home from Vietnam in 1971, I became a lost and wandering soul riding freight trains and hitchhiking throughout the US and Canada looking for adventure in all the wrong places.

At the end of this period in 1974, after four years as a heavy drug user, including pot, LSD and heroin, I surrendered my life to the Lord. I’d lost touch with reality. Jesus now became my new reality as I began immersing myself in God’s Word. I was totally mesmerized by it, spending hours on end reading and studying the Bible.

As a new Christian, I was given the book, “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. While reading, I came across a chapter challenging readers from the passage in Isaiah about being the one whom the Lord would send.

Isaiah 6:8 says, Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

As I read this over 40 years ago, the presence of the Lord came over me very strongly. At that moment, I knelt down and prayed, “I will go! Send me.” It was a very powerful defining and kairos moment in which I sensed total consecration unto the Lord. Shortly after, God opened the doors for me to travel to Alaska and begin Bible College.

There should be a time in all our lives after we’ve tasted of the Lord’s goodness and counted the cost, that we make a commitment to follow Him wholeheartedly as a faithful disciple.

John 8:31-32 says, If you continue in my word, you are my disciples indeed; 32and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Attending Bible College was one of the greatest periods in my life. Sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning His Word was a delight to my soul. I literally fell in love with Jesus by falling in love with His Word—something that still sustains me to this day. My life was being shaped by His Word and the invisible path I was now on.

During this season, I was involved in all kinds of evangelistic endeavors, from witnessing on the streets, and in bars, to picking up hitchhikers and ministering in the local jail in Anchorage on a weekly basis while working part-time in a Sears Warehouse.

One day while on the job repairing bicycles, I had an epiphany. I had an overwhelming sense that the very reason I was there was because of the steps of faith I had taken. I realized I was in a kingdom realm that had transcended the earthly realm. My life was being shaped by the invisible path.

This was another defining moment in my life as I realized God was confirming I was on the right path that would lead me into a deep discovery of who He is and what He had in store for me.

Another time, I was riding on one of the many bicycle trails throughout Anchorage when I heard in my spirit, the Lord yell, “Kenny!” (That’s what family members called me.)

He then said, “What about him?” …drawing my attention to a passed out drunk, with his bottle lying next to him.

Immediately following that incident, I was invited to begin teaching a weekly Bible Study at the local Rescue Mission, preaching to many in the same condition as the man passed out in the park.

The opportunity to teach would prove very beneficial in the days ahead. The pastor of the church plant I later joined in Chico, CA asked me to preach during the weekly Wednesday evening services. Without those prior experiences, I wouldn’t have been sufficiently prepared when God allowed me to become the senior pastor of a church in Roseville for twelve years.

Because we serve a God who sees into the future, He can set up the experiences, yet-to-be-revealed for future purposes. Though the path may seem invisible to us, it’s always visible to Him as He leads and guides us through each adventure.

My book, “The Journey – Discovering the Invisible Path” is all about what I’ve qlearned throughout my Christian walk on how to discover the invisible path.

May God bless you all as you discover the invisible path awaiting you!

The Adventures of Space and Hobo

Book: The Adventues of Space and Hobo by Ken BirksLost but not Forgotten

In the fall of 1972, I found myself in Tempe, Arizona after leaving the comforts of home on a freight train. I was a lost and wandering soul, wondering what adventure this phase of my life was going to take me on.

I’d returned home from Vietnam the year before and found myself living the life of a hippie freak, unsettled and at a loss with what I wanted to do. I was having a difficult time fitting in, so I finally just got fed up, put a pack on my back and hit the road.

In Tempe, I met a new friend named Hobo, who began calling me Space. Soon after, we were on a freight train headed towards New Orleans. We traveled together for nearly a year until we finally separated in Saskatoon, a city in Saskatchewan, Canada. We travelled through Texas, the Gulf Coast States, Florida, Arizona, Los Angeles, Memphis, Kansas City, and all of the Northern states from Wisconsin to Washington before taking off for a trek across Canada.

We were a couple of hippie freaks traveling through our nation’s cities by freight trains and hitchhiking looking for the next free ride to nowhere in particular. It was an adventurous, carefree lifestyle in which every day was a new adventure. Many times we’d never know from one day to the next what city or state we’d be in.

On one occasion we had no idea where we were until we got off the train and asked one of the workers in the yard. To our surprise, we were in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Talk about being in the middle of nowhere!

During this phase I was on a spiritual quest to discover who I was in relationship to discovering God’s purpose for my life. I’d had been using drugs—everything from pot and LSD to heroin since Vietnam. Because I’d been mixing drugs and religion together, I’d become very deceived and was now opening myself up to the spiritual maze of beliefs of the early 70s.

In Vietnam, I’d had an enormous spiritual experience that awakened my spiritual senses. Me and my buddies began to get into Jesus and the Bible while still using drugs but the seeds of Christianity were being planted in my life.

I grew up in Wenatchee, Washington with apple orchards all around me. My parents were Christians and attended church every Sunday, which meant my three brothers, two sisters, and I went along, too.

Our church didn’t believe in going to movies, dances, playing cards, or even going to carnivals. Combined with living out in the country, we grew up without much social life, causing me to be socially awkward with an introverted personality, from which I developed somewhat of a rejection complex.

In Vietnam, I began to crave acceptance and was drawn to those who were involved with drugs and considered outcasts with whom acceptance came easy. As a result, I became heavily involved with drugs for the next four years.

By 1974, I’d come to the end of myself and lost touch with reality when the goodness of God intervened and led me to repentance. Over the previous years, I had close encounters with God’s grace, but was continually resisting. Like the fish with the hook in his mouth that continually fights the tug of the line until it’s finally worn out from the battle and then is easily caught, so was I in the hands of the Lord. The battle for my soul was over. I was too tired and worn out to resist any longer. I simply surrendered to what God wanted to do.

In retrospect, I know that God had His hand on my life. I continually stand in awe and am so appreciative for all He’s done in my life. His compassion and loving-kindness when I was a lost and wandering soul has caused me to have a deep love for Him and His Kingdom and keeps me continually looking forward to what He’s going to do next!

It’s been over 40 years since I surrendered to Jesus Christ. If God is trying to hook you, too, give up the fight and let Him reel you in! The amazing peace and contentment that comes from knowing Him is worth giving Him your all!

My book, "The Adventures of Space and Hobo" tells of all my experiences in Vietnam and the adventures I experienced following Vietnam when I put a pack on my back and hit the road. During this time I traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada, hitchhiking and riding freight trains from one town to another looking for adventure in all the wrong places until Jesus brought me to the end of myself and revealed his great love towards me. I was lost, but not forgotten.

May God Bless you as you read the story.

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