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Bruce Potenza, My Story

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MY STORY:  On a radio talk show, back in 1982, my wife heard an unusual story from a guy who had been a member of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club and became a Christian.  He also mentioned a book that was available which was written about his life.  My wife ordered the book and our lives changed.  Not so much that anyone else would notice at the time, but our perception of being a biker never included being a Christian biker.  This man, Barry Mayson, and the book he had written along with Tony Marco, told the story of a biker turned Christian.  A Hell’s Angel, turned Heaven’s Saint. 

 

You see, my love affair with motorcycles began young.  Before I had my driver’s license, I risked my parent’s wrath by sneaking my Dad’s motorcycle out for a ride when my parents weren’t home.  I was having a great time, until I hit some loose gravel and fell.  That knocked me out.  I was carried to a neighbor’s house where I woke up to deal with my mother’s concern and my father’s anger.  As soon as I was old enough, I purchased my first Harley (nothing else would do) and the love affair with motorcycles continued.  I came into my prime in the late 1960’s, early 1970’s (I was born in 1954).  I just missed being drafted into the Viet Nam war. Times were edgy.  Life was meant to be lived.  Morals and right and wrong were all in question.  I lived just outside Chicago, an hour’s pleasurable ride to Wisconsin, home of 18 year old drinking where even the smallest towns boasted  one gas station, one Five and Dime store, one grocery market, one church and no less than five taverns.  Life was pretty good.  I caught my best girl with another guy, ending any plans I had for marriage and children.  Another excuse to do as I pleased.  I never joined a club.  Oh, there were some around, one in particular stood out back in the Chicago area during that time.  To me, a club had always meant bondage.  To them, it was freedom.  Me and my friends hung out with some of the club guys.  They’d try to entice us to join, but I never did.  They were the ones who didn’t follow society’s rules, so they thought they were totally free; but within the club, they were still bound.  Bound, by the club rules.  What I didn’t see at the time was that I was also bound; but I was bound by my own desires which caused me to do whatever to fulfill those desires.  I had yet to experience freedom in Jesus.  He was there, I believe the Holy Spirit was there, in me, from this one-night stand I had with Jesus.  It was Vacation Bible School at the local church.  I was 12 years old. My friend invited me. I did go forward that night recognizing that I needed Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life. Partly because my friend told me I needed to. Never before had I been in a church, and never again did I go until I was 27 years old.  I do believe the Lord had his hand on me as I went through the years following that night.  I raced cars, rode motorcycles, drank a lot and partied whenever I could.  Mostly, I rode.   I had a lot of close calls during that time, and, looking back, I believe the Lord protected me and saw me through them. 

 

Like I said, I was raised during the Viet Nam war era, drive-in movies, Woodstock, Jimmy Hendrix, Purple Haze, Hippies (although I never was one),  big block motors (gas, at 24 cents a gallon, wasn’t an issue),  loud exhaust,  street races,  Chicago was ruled by the mob, and life was tenuous at best.  My story isn't much different than a lot of others.  The constant need for something more, finally driving me at 27 years old to a small town church where I finally acknowledged the need for God in my life.  And, where, I finally acknowledged Jesus as Saviour and Lord of my life.  And, though many are anxious to claim affiliation with this or that club or ministry, from that day forth, all of that faded into the background and I have sought only to live a life devoted to Him.  As the years haved passed, others may have acknowledged my affiliation or given me a title sought by men, but my hope and my calling is simply to be a child of God and my home is not here on earth, but in heaven.  My Saint status declared upon accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour of my life.

 

 


In the pages that follow, I hope to encourage you in your walk with God, especially if yours is an unusual one as mine has been.   I will also go back and share some of my ministry archives and history.  The importance of history should not be denied.  Men  try to hide what God has proclaimed when it doesn't fit their plans.  In 1995, I finally met the author of the book I mentioned, in the beginning, Fallen Angel - Hell's Angel to Heaven's Saint.  Barry Mayson became a true and trusted friend and brother.  I joined the Heaven's Saints Motorcycle Ministry which Barry founded, and worked alongside Barry for all of the years that followed.  On July 4, 2007, Barry Mayson graduated from this earth and now resides in his heavenly abode.  I can clearly imagine him at the feet of Jesus. It was my every intention and my heart's desire to carry on the ministry that Barry had entrusted to me and poured himself into for so many years. So that you will understand where I am coming from, I will tell you that since Barry's passing, as of March 23, 2008, I  resigned the position appointed to me by Barry Mayson as International President of the Heaven's Saints M/M and Church of the Heaven's Saints International along with my membership.   In order to continue on as God had called me, I felt it necessary to do as I have done.    God is in control. That battle is not mine, but the Lord's. Still, I can't deny God's calling on my life and the trust placed in me by Barry Mayson.  Therefore, this website is a platform and a continuence of my ministry and that calling.  I pray God's blessing on those who come to share His calling.  I can't compromise to placate those who use "godliness as a means of personal gain" (1 Timothy 6:5) or play the games that would allow me to appease everyone's needs. Please seek God with all your heart. I desire to reach the misfits in society who seek after Him and Him alone. This is a call for the sold-out Christians (followers of Jesus).  Not those in name alone, not those out for an emotional high, or using God for personal acclamation;  but those who truly seek to follow Jesus' teachings and who desire to lay down their lives and humble themselves to follow Him, even if it means giving up some things that you hold dear. 

Fast forwarding to June 2012, II have joined a ministry called BROTHERS FORGIVEN M/M. Unlike Surviving Saints, the  Brothers Forgiven M/M is a motorcycle ministry. We wear a 3-piece patch and a gut rocker that says "Not Perfect". I like that. I want people to know right off that I am not perfect! Joining the Brothers Forgiven is something I felt lead of God to do. I actually surprised myself by joining another motorcycle ministry, so I'm excited to see what God has in store for us. And, for me, joining Brothers Forgiven is all part of being a Surviving Saint. . . . moving on and following where God leads, not giving up or laying down, but always moving ahead, not being held back or detoured by man's expectations, but always seeking God's will for our lives. While we should be immovable in our faith in God, we should never be immovable in our willingness to go where He leads. My life is the testimony of someone who is not perfect, but has always tried their best to be sensitive to God's leading and always listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit as He directs us away from our own plans and vision of the future and leads us to follow His plan and His direction for our future. You can check my facebook page for more updates

bikeweekbrucebarry2003.jpg
Bruce and Barry Mayson Daytona Bike Week 2003

For more  information please read the pages that follow. You can also visit Bruce on Facebook.

(c) Surviving Saints Bruce Potenza 2008-2013
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