Former addict fronts Seventh Day Slumber

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Joseph Rojas, cen­ter, tried to com­mit sui­cide while a cocaine addict. Today he is the lead singer for Sev­en­th Day Slum­ber, which will per­form at Heav­en­fest on Sat­ur­day at North­ern Hills Church in Brighton. Pho­to by Eliza Marie Somers, The Den­ver Post

Alco­holics, drug addicts, liars, rob­bers, peo­ple who aim­less­ly wan­der the streets. We all have known some­one like this, and if not, we’ve hur­ried­ly walked past peo­ple beg­ging in the shad­ows of our exis­tence.

Joseph Rojas, lead singer for Sev­en­th Day Slum­ber, was one of those peo­ple. By age 14, he was using cocaine, and by the time he was 22, he had a $400-a-day cocaine habit. That habit put him on the brink of death. This is his sto­ry, a sto­ry he will bring to Heav­en­fest on Sat­ur­day (noon-10 p.m.) at Brighton’s North­ern Hills Church, and it’s much bet­ter sto­ry in his own words. 

I’m a work in pro­gress,” said Rojas, 35. “I make a lot of mis­takes still, and I’m not where I want to be in my rela­tion­ship with God, but I’m nowhere near where I was.”
Where he was, was on his mother’s floor hav­ing a heart attack, try­ing to com­mit sui­cide.

I was steal­ing from my own moth­er to get high,” Rojas said. “A moth­er that did noth­ing but love me. She would always tell me about Jesus, but I was an athe­ist. My moth­er had to file bank­rupt­cy because of my drug addic­tion. She lost every­thing that she owned, and I was tired of hurt­ing her. And I decid­ed I was going to end my life — that she would only have to hurt one more time. Any­way I took a lethal dose of cocaine to stop my heart. She wasn’t sup­posed to be the one to find me, but she walked in unex­pect­ed­ly and I end­ed up hav­ing a heart attack in front of her.

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I’m lying on the floor and she’s cry­ing to God to save my life — a God I didn’t believe in. The para­medics came, and they had me hooked up to all the­se wires and I was com­ing in and out of con­scious­ness, and I couldn’t speak. And there was this moment where I felt the hand of God in the back of the ambu­lance.

I don’t mean a hand on me; it was like God was with me. I just felt this pow­er. His pres­ence. It was the most com­fort­ing feel­ing. And since I couldn’t speak, I spoke with my heart to God that if he will still have me as messed up as I am, a worth­less drug addict, if he could find some use for me to find it in your heart to take me back after all I’ve done, I’ll give my life to you and I’ll live for God. And that was the first time in my life I felt the love of a father, because I grew up with­out a father. I felt like I was whole.

Some­one once asked me if I met God, what would be the one ques­tion that I would ask him? I would ask him: ‘What did you see in me? How did you see any­thing good?’ God is amaz­ing. He looks at the heart, man looks at the out­ward appear­ance. And I have tat­toos all up and down my arms — it’s an iffy sub­ject with Chris­tians. It’s more accept­able now, but I had to cov­er them up.”

There is no cov­er­ing up Rojas’ past life, a tes­ti­mony to God’s grace that he uses to urge peo­ple to turn to God. 

Our soul pur­pose of hav­ing a band is for peo­ple who grew up like me not going to church and for peo­ple who have got­ten away from the church to bring them back to a rela­tion­ship with Jesus, because we know that a life with­out God is a life filled with pain. We’ve all tried it, and we all had some pret­ty messed-up results. 

Heal­ing is a process. God’s done amaz­ing things in my life, and I can’t help but praise him.”

[ENDER]Eliza Marie Somers: 303–954-1629 or lsomers@denverpost.com

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2 Responses to Former addict fronts Seventh Day Slumber

  1. Sean H says:

    Why aren’t there more sto­ries of redemp­tion and heal­ing on the front pages and screens in newsland? There should be a 50/50 bal­ance between all the sor­row­ful trag­ic news splashed at us and won­der­ful life affirm­ing sto­ries like Joseph’s.

  2. Sean H says:

    Why aren’t there more sto­ries of redemp­tion and heal­ing on the front pages and screens in newsland? There should be a 50/50 bal­ance between all the sor­row­ful trag­ic news splashed at us and won­der­ful life affirm­ing sto­ries like Joseph’s.

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