About John Turner

Three things occupied my time growing up: 1) Attending The School for the Deaf, 2) Hangin’ with my gangsters, and 3) Discovering God and my spiritual gifts. I learned something new in each of these areas every day.

Since gangsters don’t use sign language, I learned how to read lips, paying close attention and trying to make sense of what was going on. Thug life was rough; it could change on a dime, with brothers laughing on Monday and dead and buried on Wednesday. I’d go to school in the morning, acting like everything was normal, then head back home and join up with the gang in the afternoon. Books at 9am, guns at drugs at 4pm, God when I least expected it. I was living three very different lives. All I wanted was to be me, but the pull of the street was still stronger than the spirit within me.

The Junior Trailblazers let me join their gang when I was only 10. The bigger cribs didn’t want a deaf kid in their crew; they considered my situation a liability. Even a smaller crew was better than no crew, though. I needed money, and thug life made that happen. There was also safety in numbers. I didn’t fully comprehend the seriousness of being part of a gang; I just knew that I was deaf and didn’t want to be someone’s target. Gang life wasn’t good, but there were fun times, and I felt protected. As I matured and as I toughened up, even though I better understood life on the street, I was still being pulled in opposite directions. School and God to the left, thug life to the right. No matter. Survival was still the most important thing.

Little by little, I began to feel more powerful even when I was alone. Trailblazer gangster blood ran through my Orchard Park veins, and I still committed crimes because that’s what being part of team meant. The police were always nearby, and drugs, weapons, and jail were never far off, but a big part of me started to realize that this wasn’t all there was to life. The love and care shown to me in school, combined with my encounters with the spiritual forces that sought my attention, slowly began to show me another way of being.


Life was dangerous in the hood—I could have gotten shot and killed, both in Boston and Atlanta, but God saved my life, through spoken words and mental images.

I sold drugs in Boston and Atlanta. I never went to jail for it, but God sent spirits to convince me there was another way. These spirits pestered and annoyed me until I decided to quit. God wanted me to stop.

 I don’t read well. I’ve never been able to read properly, so I learned about God in my own way.

When I was deeply depressed, God showed me signs using the clouds, the trees, and the sun. My spirits were then lifted.

Growing up, I was bullied a lot, but God didn’t want me to be vengeful and would not allow me to strike back. Instead, God handled the situation.

It is difficult for me to accept blessings from people. I feel uncomfortable when they offer this gift because of the power those blessings hold. Slowly, as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to accept these blessings.

Growing up, I was bullied a lot. But God didn’t want me to be vengeful and would not allow me to strike back. Instead, God handled the situation.
It is difficult for me to accept blessings from people. I feel uncomfortable when they offer this gift because of the power those blessings hold. Slowly, as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to accept these blessings.
Being alone made me feel quite powerful, because no one understood or listened to me when I was a teenager. With time, I learned about the spirit. Because nothing in my life came easy, I felt alone much of time. I still feel solitary much of the time, but I know spirituality is with me.
Whether you are a reader, follower, subscriber, or occasional visitor, welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy the stories I write and share with you. These stories will reflect my raw emotions, feelings, and thoughts, which I battle daily. After being homeless for several years, I now spend time at home, venturing into my new journey, which is only just beginning. I know that there will be ups and downs, but I am also certain that it will be worth pursuing. Let’s begin.

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