||December 14, 2004
In a life of up's and down's we often feel overwhelmed with the battles that come our way. Pastor Paul Zimmer, author of the new releases, "Prodigal Daze" and "Thorn Daze," discovered first hand perils such as struggling with divorce, sexual additions, and facing chronic pain. But in the midst of his personal battles he found God's sustaining grace.
In "Prodigal Daze," Pastor Zimmer's first release, he candidly shares his call to ministry and early success. But while facing marital problems, he turns to the gripping chains of sexual addiction and pornography. Pastor Paul holds nothing back as he reveals his battle with sexual sin, his eventual fall from grace, and his inability to break away from sin's addictive hold. In an attempt to break free from guilt of his vicious cycle to sexual addiction, he comes desperately close to ending his own life. His love affair with the sin of self gratification leads him further and further down the road to spiritual ruin. Just like the prodigal son, Pastor Zimmer finds the grace to run home into his Father's loving arms.
"The great news is that regardless of our sins, we have an advocate in Jesus and a Father that is ready and waiting to welcome us back home when the day of remorse, recognition, and repentance arrives,"
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Twenty-one years of self-destructive choices had taken its toll on a life that had so much promise. After all, I experienced a once-in-a-lifetime calling from God; a miracluolus deliverance from having to go to Viet Nam; and a blessed experience in college that opened the door to fulltime ministry within a week following my graduation. I never thought this could be the end result of a life that once looked so promising.
Zimmer Exposes Own Sin
ZIMMER EXPOSES OWN SINS IN "PRODIGAL DAZE"
OLIVER KIMOKEO | Online Manager for Azusa Pacific University Student Newspaper
In an autobiographical novel of dark life decisions, APU alumnus Rev. Paul Zimmer shows how his prodigal days became a “Prodigal Daze.”
Zimmer has seen his share of trials and tribulations throughout his life.
The rise and fall of his ventures detailed in his book would be worthy of a made-for-television movie script including story lines involving pornography, failed ministries, two rocky divorces and unsteady employment.
Zimmer should be applauded for his honesty, but not for his poor life decisions.
The first big event of the autobiography begins on the day that Zimmer becomes a born-again Christian. Even though he was a regular church attendee on Sundays, he didn’t truly understand the meaning of what it meant to be a Christian until his then-girlfriend and future first-wife showed him the way.
Zimmer accepted Jesus Christ on Christmas Eve 1966. This was an especially turbulent time for Zimmer as he was failing classes at his junior college and was issued a Vietnam draft notice a month later.
If there were a prototype for a draft dodger, it would be Zimmer. He made every attempt to alleviate the draft, but his efforts still garnered a 14-month stay in the Army. His release was based on medical reasons.
In the early 1970s, Zimmer attended Azusa Pacific College. APC was just another destination along his road of many enterprises. Throughout his university days, Zimmer was involved in youth activities with a local church group.
After graduation from APC, Zimmer became a senior pastor for a Napa church. His inexperience with the gospel led to confrontations with the elders and eventually led to his resignation.
The story goes on and on like this. Zimmer finds one avenue and then leaves it the next year for something different—whether it was his own doing or not.
Zimmer continued to put himself in leadership positions in church jobs and non-church jobs even though he was in much need of a leader himself. He continued to struggle with his sins while being an example for others in the limelight.
The sins that Zimmer struggled with the most were a secret that he kept from others. He had a major addiction to sex—his outlet was pornography and adultery.
Instead of facing his battles head-on through the help of Jesus Christ, Zimmer was a persistent sinner.
Eventually, the climax of the autobiography brought a resolution to his struggles. After the events of the book, Zimmer began a fruitful career in helping others in crisis.
The consequences of Zimmer’s sins were a personal test in the development of his testimony.
It was truly refreshing to read about a Christian battle that did not sugarcoat the sin. Zimmer put his past sins out in the open so that people who have struggled with a similar sin can see a journey back into the arms of the Father.
I enjoyed reading “Prodigal Daze” for its straightforward honesty and Zimmer’s blunt standpoint on the framework of sin.
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