EP 116: From Abuse to Solitary Confinement, to the Power of God: Steven Snook

Diana WinklerDomestic Violence

We have a fantastic story of redemption for you today with my guest Steven Snook. He candidly tells of his abusive upbringing, him selling drugs at an early age, and winding up in prison, particularly in solitary confinement. God had big plans for Steven after he was born again, and he led many others to Christ in prison. He now has a thriving ministry and business after he was finally released. Steven is an incredible storyteller, and you will be so encouraged and inspired by his testimony! Don’t miss it.


I spent 19 years in federal prison for a non-violent drug crime. I got saved and born again in 2003 and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit in 2004. I was a minister of the gospel in prisons all across America. In 2017, I spent 377 days in solitary confinement, in intense prayer and fasting. During that time The Lord revealed Himself in many signs and wonders. Many inmates were born again during that time. Since my release from prison in Feb. 2022, I created a business based on a dream I received from God, I’ve been a guest lecturer at multiple colleges including Bradley University, and am driven to spread the gospel and tell my story of redemption. I have been on many podcasts recently including Jody Burkeen’s, “Man Up God’s Way”, as well as Dr. Joe Martin’s, “Real Men Connect”. Both of which have tens of thousands of followers.

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Transcript below!

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Steven Snook Transcript:

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful Podcast. Brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer songwriter, speaker and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help.

[00:00:26] Now here is Diana.

[00:00:33] Diana Winkler: Hey everybody. How are you doing? Come on in. I am hoping that you have enjoyed our episodes with Kimberly Clark and Shannon Petrovich, and we do have another wonderful guest for you today, Steven Snook, and I’ll be telling you about him in just a moment. Now, we don’t really talk about the new [00:01:00] year on this podcast.

[00:01:01] If you know me, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. When I want to change something about myself or my situation. I do it right away, and that’s something that I would encourage you to do. I mean, forget New Year’s resolutions. Decide today to make that change. Whatever it is. Whether it’s losing weight, getting ahold of your finances, making the decision to leave an abusive relationship, whether that’s taking care of your health, any kind of decision, any kind of change that you need to make in your life right now, do it today.

[00:01:42] Write down some steps in order that you need to accomplish your goal and just do one step at a time. You don’t have to do it all tomorrow. Nobody lost 50 pounds overnight.

[00:01:55] And I say to do that today because you know why? We don’t have any [00:02:00] guarantees of tomorrow. We don’t. What we have is today. Enjoy your life today. And Ecclesiastes talks about that a lot. Now, this week we lost one of my dear mentors. She was a guest on the show, Dr. Naima Bush. She’s only 51.

[00:02:21] She had some serious health issues and that was the reason for her death. But she never let the trials of her life stop her from serving God, from achieving the goals in her life. If you would pray for Dr. Naima’s family, she leaves behind a husband and two kids. You remember them from the interview,

[00:02:50] and her episode was 103: How to Linger in the Presence of God. And we have her song at the end of the [00:03:00] episode, and now she is in the presence of God, singing her heart out to Jesus. And I encourage you to go and listen to that episode if you have not already. And so if you need help in reaching your goals, especially if it has to do with

[00:03:18] abuse or trauma, I’m very happy to help you any way I can. If you don’t get help from me, get help from somebody else, whether it’s a doctor, a psychiatrist, a personal trainer, find somebody to help you, a good friend that’s offered help. This is so important, folks, because this is why I do this ministry.

[00:03:41] This is why I’m called to do this podcast, is to help people heal from domestic violence, abuse, and trauma.

[00:03:50] And I am here to help you.

[00:03:53] So I would like to introduce our guest for today,

[00:03:58] I’m going to read his [00:04:00] biography. He says, I spent 19 years in federal prison for a non-violent drug crime. I got saved and born again in 2003 and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit in 2004. I was a minister of the gospel in prisons all across America.

[00:04:20] In 2017, I spent 377 days in solitary confinement, in intense prayer and fasting. During that time, the Lord revealed himself in many signs and wonders. Many inmates were born again during that time. Since my release from prison in February, 2022, I created a business based on a dream I received from God. I’ve been a guest lecturer at multiple colleges, including Bradley University, and I’m driven to spread the gospel and tell my [00:05:00] story of redemption.

[00:05:01] I have been on many podcasts recently, including Jodi Burkins Man Up God’s Way, as well as Dr. Joe Martin’s. Real Men Connect, both of which have tens of thousands of followers.

[00:05:18] Now we know Dr. Joe Martin because he was on the show.

[00:05:23] and I did listen to that interview with Dr. Martin and he’s getting the attention of a lot of prominent people. And so I know that you’re gonna wanna listen to this interview, so without further ado, please

[00:05:38] welcome, Steven Snook to the show. I appreciate you coming on today.

[00:05:43] Steven Snook: Well, thank you. Thank you, Diana. I appreciate

[00:05:45] Diana Winkler: you.

[00:05:46] I’ve heard you on Dr. Joe Martin’s podcast. He’s been on the show here and he’s awesome. And, you just have such a powerful story that I, I think that the listeners would really be [00:06:00] interested in hearing and learning from you.

[00:06:01] And so just to start out, you came from an abusive home. Can you set the stage for us about what your childhood was like?

[00:06:14] Steven Snook: Sure.

[00:06:15] I was born in Hampton, Virginia in 1976, and when I was born, my mother was 15 and I already had an older brother who was 17 months old. So she had two children by the age of 15.

[00:06:28] She couldn’t take care of us. She was poor, there was no man around. And she essentially just sent us into the foster care system. Not really knowing what she was doing. She just set us by the street and just called the cops and said, I just can’t take care of these babies. So they came to get us. We went into the foster care system, and when I was about two and a half years old my brother’s father’s sister agreed to, to take us.

[00:06:55] And I, yeah, that’s my brother and I have different fathers and so [00:07:00] they took us and we ended up being transported to Illinois. So that’s where I was raised at in Illinois. So when I was raised by her and she was given custody of us I was no longer in the foster care system, but the way that untangled is that she was just a woman that had a really good heart, but only about a sixth grade education,

[00:07:20] she was a waitress. She didn’t have any children of her own, and she just married very violent ex-military men. And, one of the first memories I have from life is actually sitting on her lap and her first husband with no discord in the house, no arguments. He just walked over and punched her in the face while I was sitting on her lap.

[00:07:41] I was probably about five years old. She ended up divorcing him a couple years that, you know, within a couple years span. And then she married essentially a carbon copy, and unfortunately, as it’s like that in abuse. And so she found a man that fit that mold and he was an ex-military and he was a former boxer [00:08:00] and he was a severe alcoholic and just terribly abusive.

[00:08:04] And we grew up in, in just extreme poverty.

[00:08:07] Diana Winkler: There was no love in the home, it sounds like.

[00:08:12] Steven Snook: No. There was no love. There was no affection or religion or any type of structure like that. Because when you’re living with someone that is a completely dysfunctional alcoholic, like he was where he couldn’t even work, there’s no rules.

[00:08:26] There’s anything goes. I mean, I could go to school one day and come home and feel great about myself. Somebody made a nice comment about my shirt that day. A girl passed me a note. I’m, maybe I’m 10 or 11 years old. I’m super happy walking the front door and he just beats me up, and, my aunt would have to pull him off of me or whatever the case may be.

[00:08:47] So it was like that. But you know, one of the things that he did do as the man that he was, is he would have periods of sobriety . And a lot of abusers do, and he would have periods of sobriety where he would be [00:09:00] a pretty decent guy. He taught my brother and I how to fight, how to box and do other things in that area of hand-to-hand combat at a very young age.

[00:09:09] We were learning that stuff from him of 7, 8, 9, 10 years old. So that kind of molded us too. So now you have a little storm here because you’ve been, now you’re being trained how to be this violent person. You’re also being abused and it just trickles out of control because you’re also in that poverty environment.

[00:09:28] Diana Winkler: That’s a a dangerous mix.

[00:09:30] Martial arts , they teach you honor and discipline and respect for your opponent. That didn’t exist? It was beat anybody up on the street you want kind of thing?

[00:09:43] Steven Snook: Well, actually there were some rules to that initially.

[00:09:46] And the rules were we could not fight at school. Now we could beat the tar out of each other. He would literally have, my brother and I just fight each other sometimes. But one day my brother went to school and a couple guys, jumped him and held his arms and [00:10:00] someone punched him in the face and knocked half of his tooth out.

[00:10:02] . And so after that episode and the dentist and all those things, we had a meeting in the house. And my uncle said, from this point forward, if anyone puts their hands on you, you know you can do it. And you just, that’s it. And you just don’t stop. It’s almost like a merciless type of soul for a kid that’s just abused and, feeling no love.

[00:10:23] I would go to school and challenge people to touch me. or one of my good friends that knew what was going on. Now if people are just listening to this and they’re not actually watching the video, they think, wow, this guy must be a monster. I’m a little guy. I’m like 160 pounds now. You know what I mean?

[00:10:40] And I was little back then, but you know, when you know that stuff and you can apply it you become a pretty, pretty dangerous thing.

[00:10:49] Diana Winkler: Yeah. I was bullied in school and, I didn’t have that kind of a training or background. And but I do think if you are bullied that you should be able to defend [00:11:00] yourself without getting into trouble.

[00:11:01] But when they know that you have been taught, U F C fighting, then they challenge you. They target you to get into a fight. So it sounds like that’s what happened.

[00:11:13] Steven Snook: Yeah. Well, Diana I’ll tell you that I was kind of known as the bully buster. If somebody was a bully in the school, oh, I was his worst nightmare because in his mind, he thinks that he’s going to fight someone that’s small and not able to really defend theirself.

[00:11:29] And what ends up happening is he gets completely embarrassed. And I had that same theme took place even throughout all the years when I was in prison. I mean, if, guys would try me and it would always be a mistake, because they just don’t know. And you don’t tell people that, when you’re in a dangerous environment, because they won’t fight you. They’ll stab you or hit you in the head with a lock or something like that. So you just keep it to yourself. In until that moment that, you may have to pull that out.

[00:11:55] Diana Winkler: Wow. So what were the effects of that [00:12:00] abuse in your life moving forward?

[00:12:02] What kind of person did you turn into?

[00:12:05] Steven Snook: Well, I wanna, topple on to add something to also that abuse right there, because I was also sexually abused and

[00:12:13] Diana Winkler: Oh, yeah. I should have asked you if there was any other kind of abuse.

[00:12:16] Steven Snook: That’s okay. But I was also sexually abused and that’s a big thing.

[00:12:19] That’s a really, we could just go through this. It’s such a demoralizing thing for a child. I wasn’t sexually abused by my uncle, it was by another distant family member. But it was devastating. It was a devastating moment in my life. It didn’t happen over the stretch of years. It may have happened three or four times in my life, but those memories don’t go away.

[00:12:40] And that, that I was probably seven or eight years old during that time. So, Just, you throw that all in there and you throw that all on top of a person that’s not getting the proper counseling or the proper guidance, the proper leadership, and you are making something that is just destined for [00:13:00] the life that I had.

[00:13:01] My previous life, it was almost as if this man’s going to go to prison for a long period of time and it is part of his destiny. So, it was a very difficult, very difficult childhood. And I know some people have had worse for sure but mine was straining. It was so bad that when my brother turned 14, so I guess I would’ve been about 12, 13, he decided to just run away and he did.

[00:13:24] We were outside in the yard playing catch with a football and he walked up to me and he said, brother, don’t go in the house. I’m leaving. And that’s exactly what he did. And he left and he started traveling around the United States on railroad cars, believe it or not. Like a hobo. Yeah.

[00:13:37] He considered that to be a better life than what we were going through. Of course, I stayed and by the time I turned 15 I was involved in selling drugs, I was getting out of poverty. I detested the life that I had. And that’s where my life turned again.

[00:13:54] Diana Winkler: So, you were hanging out with really bad people, I assume at this point?[00:14:00] [00:14:00] Steven Snook: Well, I certainly graduated to that, you know what I mean? I graduated to that. As I became into my teenage years, I began to get into that that type of crowd because lo water tends to rise to its own level. And when you’re involved in that and so going through those ranks of criminality from 15, I was just a drug dealer.

[00:14:19] Starting with marijuana like everybody else. By the time I was 19, I was a full-fledged drug trafficker. At 19 years old, I would go from Illinois to Indianapolis, get on an airplane at Indie International, fly to South Texas and meet my Mexican connections and send the drugs back up into the Midwest.

[00:14:38] So I was determined to climb those ranks and I was able to do it. I was able to do it successfully because number one, I honestly just really didn’t care. Nothing was gonna scare me. Nothing could really scare me. I’d already been through so much, people couldn’t even imagine what I’d been through my whole life.

[00:14:54] Being raised by wolves. So there’s nothing that you can tell me or threaten to do to me that would possibly scare me. [00:15:00] Number two, I had that element of violence in me that if someone messed with somebody that was in my crew of drug dealers, they had made a terrible mistake, and so that’s kind of how that’s kind of how that happened.

[00:15:13] By the time I was 19, I caught my first case on the Mexican border. Once I got outta jail, after being in jail in all those different states I just started right back and started selling drugs again and just getting right back into that lifestyle. And I ended up catching numerous cases because I was committing a felony literally every day.

[00:15:32] So I might catch a, I might catch a different drug case or I might catch a case for grand larceny. But then when I was 21, I caught a case where I was 21 and my girlfriend was 17. And we had an extremely toxic, as you can imagine, toxic Sure. Volatile, violent relationship. I was selling cocaine, I was selling marijuana.

[00:15:52] Diana Winkler: And now were you taking the drugs or were you selling but not doing the

[00:15:56] Steven Snook: drugs? Oh, no, I would do ’em whenever I wanted to. I would do them, I [00:16:00] wouldn’t necessarily say I was addicted to drugs, but I certainly used them. If the pain in my mind got too bad, I may use drugs for three days straight and not sleep or drink a lot.

[00:16:12] So yeah, I guess you could classify that as a bit of an abuser. But, I was never shooting needles in my arms or I, if that’s what you’re asking. But yeah, I was certainly doing that. And of course we used to call it partying, yeah, we’re partying. But when you look back at it as you mature in your life, you say, wow, that was the most self-destructive behavior that a person could have.

[00:16:31] .

[00:16:31] Diana Winkler: Yeah. My one of my siblings was on crystal meth and went to juvenile hall and I always thought he was gonna wind up dead or in prison, but I asked him how he got out of it cuz he’s a respectable member of society now. And he said, well, our uncle taught me a trade and got me away from those kids and that’s how I got clean and I learned a job and, I don’t ever wanna go back to that.

[00:16:58] So, yeah, that kind of life. It’s [00:17:00] scary, very scary.

[00:17:02] Steven Snook: Yeah. It’s interesting that he was able to escape from that addiction so easily. I consider that to be very easily after dealing and interviewing and helping so many drug addicts and abuse victims over the last, 20 years, it’s

[00:17:18] a lot more painful than that, so maybe he had a pretty decent childhood. And now the guys that I did see that could break it sometimes pretty easily, they had pretty decent childhoods and they just dabbled in drugs and ended up getting hooked on something and then they’re able to come out of it kind of easily.

[00:17:32] But guys that had really bad childhoods, like the prisons are full of those guys. I mean, the loneliest day in prison is Father’s Day. Nobody in prison is getting a card on Father’s Day. And I’m just gonna tell you that most, I would probably say 80% of the men in them, in the prison did not have a father growing up.

[00:17:48] Diana Winkler: Yeah, had a good parents growing up, not perfect, but yeah, we did have parents that taught us right and wrong and morals and he just lost his way and [00:18:00] found his way back. So I’m very thankful for that.

[00:18:03] Steven Snook: Yeah, that’s awesome. So if we continue on how my life, okay, so go to prison at 21.

[00:18:11] I get out at 24. I had been in maximum security prisons, some of the worst in America. One of them had 3,500 inmates, 2000 of them had life sentences. But I was only doing three years. So I did the three years. When I got out, I went right back into selling drugs. I mean, it I really didn’t think too hard about not going back into that lifestyle.

[00:18:31] I guess maybe I tried for about a month and just realized that it wasn’t gonna, it wasn’t gonna work out. I was not gonna be a productive member of society. I was going to, continue doing what I knew how to do. And that’s what I did. And then when I turned 26 I had, I got arrested by the DEA and the F B I with a little over six kilos of cocaine.

[00:18:54] And they gave me 22 years in federal prison. And they gave my wife, I was [00:19:00] 26, she was 22. We’d been married about a month, and they gave her 24 months in federal prison. Wow.

[00:19:06] Diana Winkler: So what was it like being in prison? I know you, you always hear the stories and fictional as well as the real stories, but was, what was it like for you in there?

[00:19:20] Steven Snook: Well, are you talking about the first three years, the first three years stretch before I started my federal sentence?

[00:19:26] Diana Winkler: Well, I would assume the federal prison’s a lot worse than the other prison sentences you did.

[00:19:32] Steven Snook: Well, it kind of depends. I mean, I can really get into this cuz obviously I have a degree in prisonology. I spent most of my life in there the first three years that I did in the Illinois state prison system. Prisons are broken down into different levels. Obviously if you’re in a lower level, it’s not all that bad.

[00:19:49] You know what I mean? You have to get used to being away from family, but you’re not really isolated and you’re able to have freedom of movement inside the prison and the staff treats you pretty good. But as you move up in [00:20:00] levels, like I said, I was in two of the worst prisons. It’s a different world.

[00:20:04] I mean, someone could kill you any day. or you may have to do that to someone else any day in order to survive. And that’s kind of how that environment is extremely dangerous. It’s full of mental illness and insanity. One time I think I saw one, two three suicides in about a four or five month period.

[00:20:23] In, in one instance they just left the guys hanging, after the guard walked by and he is hanging, he is just like, yeah, whatever. You know what I mean? It’s just like this is what’s going on. Now, when I came to the federal prison system, it was a little different. I started in what’s considered a medium security prison and it wasn’t nearly that bad,

[00:20:40] it was just, it was still prison and rules couldn’t be violated, and a man couldn’t be caught stealing and, certain things took place. But overall, the environment was survivable. It wasn’t every day as a matter of life and death, and that’s how my federal sentence began. But I ended up transferring to about [00:21:00] seven or eight different federal prisons over the course of that 19 years that I was incarcerated. On the 22 year sentence.

[00:21:06] I had to do 19 years. So I ended up being transferred. But yeah, that’s kind of how that breaks

[00:21:10] Diana Winkler: down. Did they transfer you for bad behavior or just cuz they didn’t have room or they just felt like it? I mean, it’s a lot of moving.

[00:21:19] Steven Snook: Yeah, it’s a lot of and you it just depends. Sometimes they just move you wherever they wanted to move you.

[00:21:23] Sometimes they may just say after you’ve been in a certain place for five, you’re transferring. Sometimes there’s security level changes and they say, Hey, you’re leaving this prison and you’re going to a low security prison. Also, there were times where I did get in trouble, I guess I should probably talk about getting born again, because

[00:21:38] Diana Winkler: that’s like, that was my next question.

[00:21:40] Steven Snook: Yeah. Yeah. Maybe I should talk about getting born again. Cause that is like the key note of everything that encompasses my life. In 2003, when I got locked up by the DEA in the FBI I probably five or six months into that, my brother got into a devastating car accident.

[00:21:55] And the reason he was in that car accident is because I had sent him on a [00:22:00] mission from inside custody. I was in custody, but I was still kind of calling shots on the street a little bit. And when I found out that he got in that car wreck and that he was in the hospital on life support, that’s when I gave my life to the Lord.

[00:22:13] And it’s just, it is been incredible. It’s just been an incredible ride. Did

[00:22:17] Diana Winkler: you have any relationship with God or any knowledge of God or the Bible before that?

[00:22:22] Steven Snook: I would say like this, we live in America, right? And on America, there’s a church on every block, so you can’t help it.

[00:22:30] I mean, you hear about God, you will hear about Jesus in America, whether you want to or not, so a person like me who’s completely unchurched and had only been to church maybe three or four times in their life, knows at least subconsciously that this is something. And, at that moment I was destroying so many lives.

[00:22:48] Here’s my brother, looks like he’s gonna die, my wife is gonna go to prison. And who knows how many lives I destroyed with all the drugs that I sold over the years. And I just didn’t know what else to do. And I just went [00:23:00] and got down on my knees in the cell and I just asked Jesus, to take my life, to just come into my heart.

[00:23:05] and to please save my brother’s life, and I just told him, man, I’m sorry for everything. And the person that I’ve been, I’m just, I’m asking you, please come into my life. Now fireworks didn’t go off in the cell. Nothing really happened. But a few weeks later, they transferred me to another jail.

[00:23:19] And when they transferred me over there, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and that still small voice. And he told me, tomorrow you’re gonna start reading the Bible and you’re not going to eat. Now, I had never read the Bible. I did not own a Bible. Oh yeah. So I went and borrowed one from someone, went in the cell, started at Genesis, finished in Revelation.

[00:23:40] And the, the anointing was just on me. Just on me. That unit went from watching, rap videos all day and gambling all day and working out and just being a wild, crazy type of atmosphere to having Bible study. We literally started watching the Trinity Broadcast Network.

[00:23:58] That is so [00:24:00] powerful. Yeah. The Holy Spirit’s contagious when he gets on you like that. He is contagious. So I took that fire with me when they transferred me. The Feds sent me after I got my sentence from Illinois to Florida, because they can do that. They can just transfer you. And so they sent me to Florida.

[00:24:15] I started my sentence there and I had that fire with me. And then in 2004, probably the greatest event that’s ever happened in my life took place. I was outside a friend of mine’s cell walking, pacing, praying a little bit. Well, let me just back up a little bit how it, to give you the full context of how it happened, I came across some information while I was in my room and, I had my Bible and I’m looking at some stuff and I see there in Luke, and I think it’s chapter 11, verse 13, where Jesus says, how much more will your father give you

[00:24:45] the Holy Spirit who ask him, which one of you if your son asked him for a egg, will give him a snake? and I’m looking at this and I’m thinking, wait a minute, this is for me. And I dig a little bit and I see a few other things. So I go to my buddy’s cell and I said, Hey [00:25:00] man, this is for me.

[00:25:01] Did you know this was in here? And he’s like, yeah. I said, well, hold on. I’ve got to pray for this thing. So I just got in there and I just dug. I prayed so boldly that day, one of the boldest prayers I ever said in my life. And I said, Jesus, I want this. I want this Holy Spirit right here that you’re talking about.

[00:25:17] I need it, Lord. And so the next day I was walking out in front of his cell, waiting on him to get ready for chow. And that still small voice spoke to me and said, just open your mouth and let it go. And I did. And I’m telling you right now, Diana, sister, that thing started rumbling in my belly, come up outta my chest.

[00:25:34] And before I knew what was going on, I was speaking in tongues. I had syllables and sounds coming outta my mouth faster than I could even pronounce ’em. And so I just went straight to my cell. Got on my knees and just let it flow and just prayed. And it was just awesome. I mean, awesome. The feeling, the revelation that the Lord gave me that he was there it was just incredible.

[00:25:56] Diana Winkler: What did your cell mates think of that? Well, they weren’t [00:26:00] there. Okay. Nobody saw this happen then.

[00:26:04] Steven Snook: No, but it’s interesting, I had so many various different cellmates over the years in that very cell where I went and I was just praying and tongue praying and tongues. Not long after that, they put a guy in a cell with me who was a Santa Ria priest from Cuba and he didn’t speak any English.

[00:26:21] So one of the Christian guys that I knew that, that was from Puerto Rico, translated and actually brought the pictures and showed me, look, this guy’s a real deal man. He’s involved in this stuff on the street and he is got these robes and his is a different color than the other men that are standing next to him, and it’s all demonic.

[00:26:37] So I’m thinking, oh, okay. So. When I would be in that cell and he wouldn’t be there. I would just pace back and forth and just praying tongues. Praying tongues. And he’s come in there and he is put his little tarot cards up and he’s got his stuff up and I would just praying tongues, and I would leave at eight or 7 30, 8 o’clock in the morning.

[00:26:52] I’d go to work inside the prison. I’d come home about 3 30, 4 o’clock. This went off for about three days. [00:27:00] When I came home, on the fourth day, he was moving. Now we haven’t had communication. I treat him very respectfully, very politely. I even told him, I said, no, it’s okay. You can stay. I said, because I’m gonna leave and go over here with my friend and live with him.

[00:27:13] And you can have this cell. It’s a really good cell. It’s a really clean cell and you can see the tv. No, he said, no way. He said, since I’ve been in here, I’ve been sicker than a dog. I can’t have a bowel movement. This is what he’s telling me through the translator. Right. The translator’s like, man, he says he is outta here.

[00:27:29] He says, you can’t make ’em stay. I said, all right. So just the power of God. You know what I mean? The prayer and faith.

[00:27:35] Diana Winkler: That’s a crazy story.

[00:27:37] Steven Snook: Oh,

[00:27:38] Diana, I may, I might have 5,000 stories like that. I’m not kidding you, because I walked, I carried that fire with me. Even though there were tons of valleys.

[00:27:49] Mountaintops over the course of 19 years, things happen. You know what? Let’s see. In 2007, my wife left me, or let’s see, right? 2007, 2006. And that happens. That’s okay. She got out.[00:28:00] And she went on with her life. That was completely understandable for me. And so I was a little bit of a on an island because I was pressing into God so hard that other men that were in the prison, even the ones that were Christians, weren’t really pressing in that hard.

[00:28:15] But God is faithful. And he connected me with another man that was absolutely pressing in that hard that I didn’t even know. And the Lord showed this man in a dream who I was, and he came walking up to me one day and he just said, listen, I wanna sew into your ministry. And when he said that, I had just got outta the hole for fighting.

[00:28:34] I had just got outta solitary confinement for fighting, was in 2005. And I said, I don’t. I don’t have a ministry . I said, I don’t think you know me. I just got under solitary confinement for fighting. He said, it doesn’t matter what you say. He said, I don’t care about that. And God doesn’t care about that.

[00:28:51] And the most powerful Christian books ever written are on their way right now. They’re already in the mail. They’re coming. We became good friends. Me and him have been friends now for [00:29:00] 17 years.

[00:29:00] Diana Winkler: Wow. I mean, it’s just amazing how God

[00:29:02] brings you into the company of other Christians, other people that, that see your potential and that speaks to them about you and that you need that support and need that encouragement in your new walk with the Lord in your story. I mean, the Apostle Paul was in prison and look what he did from prison.

[00:29:25] He had changed so many lives. So I’m sure other people have told you that.

[00:29:31] Steven Snook: Absolutely. Yeah. It’s just part of it. Everybody’s life’s different. As I’ve grown up and matured as a person, there’s nobody to blame. You know what I mean? Our life on this earth, what is it? Come on. It’s 80, 85 years, maybe 90 if we’re super blessed.

[00:29:47] I mean, and maybe sooner if we’re just not, but it’s so, it’s such a blink of an eye compared to all of eternity. One of the things that the Bible teaches is about forgiveness, and it’s hard. I mean, when you’ve [00:30:00] been abused and beaten and treated like a dog, it’s hard to forgive those people.

[00:30:05] You know what I mean? How could you not love me? You look back at maybe your mom, in my instance, who gave me up and say, man, how could you not love me? And that’s a big, that’s a big thing in prison. Guys didn’t have been abused. Okay. I’m not saying open the prisons. There’s a zillion guys in prison that need to be there.

[00:30:21] These guys are bad guys. But there’s something to that. Being able to forgive a person that has harmed you so bad that it has changed the course of your life in a way where you may end up, hurting yourself or hurting other people around you or going to prison for 20 years. But you have to do it.

[00:30:41] So you have to pray and you have to ask Jesus, please, Lord Jesus, give me the strength. Give me the strength, father God, to forgive this person cuz I wanna release him. I wanna forgive him Lord, because if I don’t do that, you can’t forgive me. These are not my words. These are Jesus’ words. So I would do that and I would say, Lord, I forgive them.

[00:30:59] [00:31:00] I forgive them. I forgive them. And maybe a memory would flash up, or, how my life had turned out or whatever would flesh up. I said no, I forgive him. So that was a big part of the healing process for me. Years and years ago. That was a big part of it.

[00:31:13] Diana Winkler: You’re definitely right. It’s a supernatural thing that forgiveness.

[00:31:17] Is not of the flesh, it’s that you have to ask the Lord to give you that supernatural strength to forgive. Cuz yeah, if you’ve been through some really horrible things and you’ve been unloved and mistreated it’s really hard. appreciate you sharing with that. We talk about forgiveness a lot on the show.

[00:31:37] I wanted you to go back to your brother. What happened to your brother in all this? He was in the hospital.

[00:31:44] Steven Snook: Yes, that was my younger brother, the one that was on life support. So what happened to him is that all the bones down one side of his body were broken. They were fleeing from the police after doing a shooting, which I had instructed them to do.

[00:31:58] They were fleeing from the police in a high speed [00:32:00] police chase, and they were trying to throw the guns out the window and they got in a terrible crash. So what ended up happening to him is that he actually survives this. He ends up surviving and they put still braces and bolts all the way down one side of his body.

[00:32:13] And then they sent him to some sort of a special rehabilitation place where he could learn how to write his name again. He could learn how to pour a cup of coffee and things like that. And now, here you are 20 years later and he is awesome. He is doing really well. His life also, even after he recovered from that, after he recovered from that after a period of time and went by however many years.

[00:32:39] Then they came in and they indicted him for that and then they sent him to prison. Oh. Yeah. It’s kind of just how it goes. And we don’t wanna send you to prison while you’re all broken, cuz then we may have to pay for it and take care of you. We’ll let you get healed out here and then when you get done, then we’ll put you in prison.

[00:32:53] So it’s kind of weird. I never liked that one the way they did that. But yeah, he’s alive and well and is [00:33:00] just is doing really well.

[00:33:02] Diana Winkler: And I know that your mom went through a lot of trials. Are you comfortable talking about your mom during the time?

[00:33:10] Steven Snook: Sure. Absolutely. I had a meeting with my mom after I got out of prison when I did the three year sentence.

[00:33:15] I’d only met her a few times in my life and I was in Virginia. And she just kind of laid it all out there for me. And I told her everything that I’d been told in my life about her. And a lot of it wasn’t true. I’d been told my whole life that she put us out by the road like that because she didn’t love us and she didn’t care about us and she didn’t want us.

[00:33:35] And that wasn’t true. She couldn’t take care of us because she didn’t have anything. She was on her own. The house that she lived in was extremely abusive with her mom and her mom’s husband. And she thought that it was the best thing to give us a good life. And I also found out that about six, six or seven years later, that she was able to go through the courts and have permission to be able to get custody of us back, and went to Illinois to see us, [00:34:00] but didn’t wanna take us outta the home we were in because we didn’t know her.

[00:34:03] And she thought we were living a good life. I mean, whenever you have guests, everybody puts their best face on. Oh, sure. If she thought we were having a good life. And I was like, no, mom. It was not like that. It was actually like this. And so we just sat in a vehicle and cried. And then we just cried and cried.

[00:34:18] And I was 24 after I caught my case. With the six kilos of cocaine. About five or six months after that she killed herself. I don’t believe the two things are related. She was going through some things and she just had a, she’d had a terrible life. She really did her best. She ended up having a couple daughters and she did her best.

[00:34:36] She actually became a drug dealer. Later on in life, she became a marijuana dealer. So, but she educated herself, to the point where she could, I would say she probably had a community college type of education, but that’s pretty impressive when you’ve had two kids before you’re 15 and nobody has a pair of shoes.

[00:34:51] I never met my biological father. She did tell me, and gave me all the information I needed when I was 24, and she told me that my brother’s father was never really [00:35:00] my father, which I thought was interesting. I kind of maybe knew that all along in my spirit, but.

[00:35:05] That was a little bit of a revelation there.

[00:35:07] Diana Winkler: I am so sorry about your mom. I’m glad that you got to meet her and find out the truth. That happens a lot with parents that divorce or that have to give up their kids. That others tell how the kid lies. And I know a lot of our listeners can relate to what you said and really wish that, that she was able to get the help that she needed, like you did.

[00:35:34] Steven Snook: I’m just gonna, I’m gonna say this okay. Because this is what I believe. Okay? We are trying in America, To solve a spiritual problem through natural means. Okay. And I see it now that I’ve been out for almost a year, that’s not effective with the violent crime and with the amount of abuse that’s taken place and the type of environments that people are being exposed [00:36:00] to and trying to solve that through natural means, maybe throw some money at it or start some type of programs for that’s not doing it.

[00:36:07] It’s just not. And that’s why when I was asked to speak at Bradley University maybe five or six months ago I told those guys, I said, I have some theories to solve some of the issues that are taking place in the very community that I live in. This is maybe a hundred thousand, maybe 150,000. But they have a terrible violent crime problem.

[00:36:24] Like, something like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, extremely honorable , no doubt. People are volunteering their time, but you’re going in there and you’re taking a kid for one or two days, okay? Out of an environment. You take him to Baskin Robbins, you buy ’em a new pair of Nikes, maybe throw the football around with him a little bit, and that’s wonderful.

[00:36:40] But then you take him back home and drop him off. And when he goes back home, his mom’s in the kitchen bleeding, she’s got a busted lip, his dad’s drunk on the sofa, and he might be next getting his butt whooped , put him right back in that environment. So how do we solve that?

[00:36:55] For me, one of the things that I proposed in that lecture was that [00:37:00] we need long-term summer camp type situations, like middle class white kids get because their parents pay for it, but we need this for inner city kids. You’d be surprised at how many kids, grown men, excuse me, that I was with in prison, that were from some of these cities, like Chicago, these other places, they’ve never been outta their neighborhood.

[00:37:21] Some of these guys never been outta the projects. You talk to ’em about fishing or hunting, they don’t even know what they’re like, what? Yeah. I think I saw that on tv. You’re just like, whoa, man. What have you done your whole life? . Well, it’s just extreme abject poverty. The corner stores down here, the liquor stores down here, they’re buildings over here.

[00:37:36] 10 stories to tall with, 600 people in it. Where do they need to go and who’s gonna take ’em there? You know what I mean? So, I mean, I’ve got tons of theories on stuff like that. But yeah, I think that we have to really dig in there and kind of look at this from a spiritual perspective.

[00:37:52] That type of moral decay, that type of fatherless society that’s taking place for so many people are being raised without a father. It is [00:38:00] devastating for a young boy to go through that. You know what I mean? Trying to learn everything from his mama. She’s just has to be, his mama has to be a superstar.

[00:38:08] Don’t let her start dating. And then start dating guys and dating another guy. But that’s what she’s supposed to do. Go on with her life like that, but, he gets confused and he gets close to one guy and then his mom and them break up and it just causes all type of rollercoaster problems.

[00:38:21] But Diana, I wanna get to the good stuff. Can we get to the really good stuff?

[00:38:26] Diana Winkler: Oh, let’s hear it man.

[00:38:29] Steven Snook: So, in 2017, I was, at that time, 14 years into my federal sentence, I was sent to solitary confinement for 377 days.

[00:38:40] That’s over a year, Toledo.

[00:38:43] And I’m gonna tell you, ma’am, this was an the most incredible experience.

[00:38:49] It is just incredible. I was in that cell by myself for over 11 months of that time with a Bible, and just began [00:39:00] a vigorous routine of fasting and prayer. Anybody that knows me knows that I am huge on fasting and the spiritual benefits of that, not what America’s teaching. Now, I’ve been looking to, some churches are teaching, we’re gonna fast for 21 days from soda.

[00:39:16] I’m like, man, from soda, man, you guys are tripping. You guys ain’t fasting. You guys are on a diet. One guy I saw, a Christian Guy posted the other day, he’s like, I want everybody in my church for 21 days to fast from porn. I’m like, man, you guys are tripping.

[00:39:30] Diana Winkler: That’s a strong, that’s a strong hold here, that’s for sure.

[00:39:33] Yeah. I’m like,

[00:39:34] Steven Snook: man, ha guys, man. We’re trying to get some spiritual breakthrough. We’re trying to help some people. So what happened after a few months of just reading the word, when I began to learn how to fast, I hadn’t fasted before my life except for that very first time. Way back in 2003.

[00:39:49] I started out small couple meals, then I gravitated to where I could fast for a day. , then I gravitated where I could fast for three days and then I bumped it up to a week. Just take him water. [00:40:00] And God was faithful and he began to pour out revelation into me. He began to gimme revelation into his word.

[00:40:08] And as I’m doing this, the men that all live around me, we can’t see each other. We can only see straight out in front of the bars, but we can talk and hear each other. Many of these men, they, when they got to know me and know more about me, and some of them did already know about me, they knew that I was a gangster.

[00:40:26] You know what I mean? I’m a Christian, but like I told you from my upbringing, I’m not the type of Christian to just lay down and just take a beating. If somebody tries me, I’ll put the Bible down. Whoop them, and Lord forgive me for that, but that’s just, this is what’s in me. You know what I mean?

[00:40:40] So questions start happening and it kind of started out as a bunch of q and a from different guys, from different faiths. One of my neighbors next door was a skinhead looking guy. Big tattoos all over ’em. A couple doors down, I’ve got a giant Mexican guy, a gang member from Texas, and then I’ve got a U F C fighter, former U F C fighter doing 14 years down here.

[00:40:58] He was back there in solitary [00:41:00] confinement for breaking a guy’s leg and then so on and so forth. And so it started out as some q and a about the Bible, which I knew the Bible very well at that time. And then it kind of led into Bible study and then it kind of led into me preaching every day. and Diana, the fire fell and I mean the fire fell in.

[00:41:21] Solitary confinement is consisting of four different units, four different wings. We are on a unit, there’s probably about, it’s probably about 20 or 24 men long and each unit has that. Okay. In these other unit guys are killing theirself. They’re cutting theirselves with razor blades. They’re just doing the most horrendous things because they’re miserable.

[00:41:41] ,they’re lonely, they’re scared, they’re depressed, they’re, it’s chaos in there. There’s a riot in there constantly. And the guards have to deal with it constantly. They come up to our unit. We’re up there having bible study, ma’am, I’m talking about, I have officers coming into my cell, taking their hat off, asking me to pray for ’em.

[00:41:59] But one of [00:42:00] the reasons for this is because God started to gimme specific words of knowledge. He would tell me the names of people that would be coming to that unit. I’d write ’em down a piece of paper, hand ’em to my neighbor, and the next day that guy would come walking in. now when you tell a man that, and you find out his name and you ask him, what is your name?

[00:42:16] And he tells you, and the guy next door verifies he’s got the piece of paper in there. I mean, the man gives his life to the Lord. I mean, he’s freaking out, you know what I mean? He’s like, what is going on? I’m saying, brother, I don’t know exactly what the Lord’s up to, but I just know that Jesus is trying to get your attention.

[00:42:34] And stuff like that would happen constantly. So we just had, I would stand up at those bars and shout out those bars and you would have to shout because there was a giant fan across the hall that just was constantly blowing because there was no air conditioning and there was no really not much heat in the wintertime.

[00:42:51] The fan didn’t give you any relief. It would be 90 degrees in there most summers. But I would stand at those bars and just preach out and preach out. [00:43:00] And so that’s kind of what happened there. And I just took that fire right there. That was a different level of the fire.

[00:43:06] Diana Winkler: Wow, that’s an incredible

[00:43:07] story. Most people don’t have that experience of solitary confinement like you described. It’s the latter one where they’re, they can’t deal with being isolated and they go nuts. How long is it till you’re released from prison in

[00:43:26] Steven Snook: 2017? I still had five years left. Oh, five years left. Yeah.

[00:43:32] So I got transferred after doing a year in solitary confinement there, and with all God’s miracles and things he was doing now while I was back there, I have to mention it. While I was back there, God put it on my heart to write a book about my life. I did not wanna do this, Diana. I just didn’t wanna do it.

[00:43:47] I’m gonna be honest with you. I, and my buddy was telling me, the man I told you that I met in 2005, that walked up to me and said, I’m gonna get you all these books. And God spoke to me about you. He was writing he’s had been outta prison for many years and he [00:44:00] was writing me and he’s like, look, you need to write a book about your life and about what’s going on back there.

[00:44:04] Because I’d write ’em and say, man, God is doing stuff back here, man. Guys are getting saved at an incredible pace. I’ve seen two guys back here receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I mean, it’s wild man. These guys are back here, fasting man. It’s all, and he’s like, man, please start writing down. And I didn’t wanna do it.

[00:44:20] And he wrote me and he said, please do it if for nothing else for your children, because when you get out of prison, your children are gonna be adults and they’re not really gonna know you or about your childhood or about your life. So the Lord got on me about it too. So I sat down and I started with that little pen that I was telling you about before the interview.

[00:44:38] That little bitty pen that they give you in there, it’s about three inches and some old scrap paper. I just started writing about my life from the first memory of my life when I was in the backseat of that car being transported from Virginia to Illinois, and they were trying to engage me in conversation.

[00:44:52] I was saying my ABCs, they would ask me to say my ABCs and I’d say ’em as far as I could. I got done with that first chapter and I put it [00:45:00] up. My buddy had already sent a letter to me. It was in the mail apparently, and I got it that, that next day and he started out by saying, Steven, I don’t know why God put this on my heart.

[00:45:11] I knew you set, 15 years ago when you were on fire for Jesus. I know what you’re doing right now, but for some reason the Lord has put it on my heart to write to you about the ABC’s. and it was just pure confirmation that God wanted me to finish that book. And so I sat back there and I just wrote it all out with pen and, still have the original manuscripts today.

[00:45:32] Diana Winkler: And definitely want to get a copy of your book when it’s finished and hear all of these stories that you haven’t been able to tell us today. That’s gonna be exciting.

[00:45:44] Steven Snook: I have so many stories. I’m gonna tell you a story cuz you said you heard me on a couple other podcasts.

[00:45:49] Yeah. And I wanna tell you a story that I don’t think that I’ve ever told anybody else on a podcast, okay? Just, I wanna give you some really original content and I think your audience will like this. [00:46:00] So, in 2021, the federal prison system is just in shambles because of Covid. So we’re locked down.

[00:46:09] and they keep us locked down. And then they let us out for like an hour at a time only. And everybody runs to the phone because everybody wants to try to call their family. So you can use that hour to run to the phone or go take a shower, whatever you’re gonna do. So I don’t try to get on the phone very often, but that day I was on the phone, I wanted to call my granddaughter.

[00:46:28] My daughter had a baby, and I used to call and sing to my granddaughter on that prison phone. And so I’m standing in line. There’s a hun, no, let’s see, 180, maybe 180 guys waiting to use five telephones. This is not gonna happen. It’s impossible. So you have to get up there in line and be diligent about it.

[00:46:50] So it’s finally my turn to be next. As I reach to grab the phone, another guy grabs it and he says, no, I’m next. Now remember at this [00:47:00] time, I’m scheduled for release from prison in February of 2022. I don’t want any problems , but I’m not a soft man. No matter what God does in me or through me, it’s gonna be impossible for me to be a soft man.

[00:47:11] He didn’t put that spirit in me. I have more like the spirit of Joshua or Caleb if right, right. So I tell him, no, I was next. Now this guy is a Stabber. He’s a guy in prison. You would call like a banger or a stabber. He carries a knife on him all the time. He’s got a glove on one hand so that when he strikes somebody with that knife, the handle of the knife won’t go into the back of his hand because these are just homemade shanks.

[00:47:34] They don’t have like a handle, like a kitchen knife would have. And I said no. So I had to get a little bit serious with him. I said, no, I was next. So about that time, somebody’s standing in the line that knows me. They called me over. Everybody called me Rooster. That was my nickname. They said, Rooster, you can take my spot.

[00:47:51] Come over here, I wanna talk to you. You can take my spot and go next. So I said, okay. So I go over there and get in line and I end up [00:48:00] using the phone. So that’s it. That’s the end of it in my mind. The next day when they opened the door for our hour, and I’m not even gonna go use the phone, I’m gonna go take a shower and get cleaned up.

[00:48:11] And that guy, the Stabber comes to me, he said, Hey, I need to talk to you. I said, okay, what’s up? He said, nah. He said, I need to talk to you. I got, we, we need to have a, conversation. I said, all right, let’s do it. So I pulled him in, now this could be life or death right here. It wouldn’t be the first time in prison that I faced a guy down that had a knife.

[00:48:32] He said, lemme tell you something. Whenever you want to use that phone, you can use that phone. He said, we will never ever get in an argument about that phone. He said, I’ll rip it off the wall before you and I get in an argument of that phone. He said, I had a dream last night that you and I had got into it about that phone.

[00:48:50] He said, it was probably the worst dream I’d ever had in my life. He said, Rooster, I wanna apologize to you. You’ll never have any problems outta me. And whenever you want to use [00:49:00] the phone, brother, if I’m up there, you can have it. And it was just, it was a God thing, it was just one of those things that God did and so it was cool.

[00:49:08] It was really cool. And I knew that the Lord had done it.

[00:49:11] Diana Winkler: You didn’t even have to punch anybody .

[00:49:13] Steven Snook: No.

[00:49:16] Diana Winkler: Now you mentioned your kids and grandkids. Tell us how they’ve fared in all of this. Do you have a relationship with them?

[00:49:24] Steven Snook: Well, I have three children. I have two daughters. One of them is 26, she’s a school teacher.

[00:49:31] And my other daughter’s 21. And then I have a son that’s also 21, and they were by two different women. One of them was by my wife, who, like I said, I was 26. She was 22 when we got locked up. And my daughter was by a different woman. So, but they’re about the same age. They’re only separated by like four months.

[00:49:48] My apologies. That was the life I was living. I mean, that was, that, that was, that’s part of that drug life. You just, it’s just nuts. You know what I mean? So you don’t know, what’s going on. So, I have a very good relationship with my two [00:50:00] youngest. Now my oldest is still having some difficulty, kind of forgiven her dad, and I understand that because she’s the oldest.

[00:50:09] So when I got locked up for, with the 22 year sentence, she and I, we knew each other. the other two were infants. . But she and I, she at that time would’ve been, what, about six years old? And that was my little buddy, and I would go pick her up at her mom’s house and she would come stay with me and my wife, and she would ride her bike to my house sometimes, I mean, and then one day, man, I’m gone.

[00:50:32] I’m just gone. And she couldn’t understand it and I still stayed in touch with her, but when she became a teenager, she turned against me. So that is a relationship that I’m praying for God to repair. I understand that it, I understand that pain, she grew up without a father.

[00:50:48] And her entire life would’ve been different, had I not, been that guy. Yes.

[00:50:53] Diana Winkler: Just hang, hanging around you today I’m pretty confident that the Lord’s gonna speak to [00:51:00] her heart and someday you guys will be reunited. And now I wanted to touch on, you got in a prison and you had to start all over in this modern society that’s foreign to you.

[00:51:17] What was that like?

[00:51:20] Steven Snook: Shock. A big shock. Huh? But after 2017 and spending that year in solitary confinement and all the prayer and fasting, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me very distinctly. I mean, as I was telling you about the words of knowledge, but he would also give me dreams, and then he would confirm ’em the very next day.

[00:51:38] Sometimes they’d be something very bizarre. Sometimes it might be a book, and he would tell me, in one of the dreams, he showed me a map of the United States, and like it was coming from like what we call like now, Google Earth or whatever. . And then the image comes down and then it goes to Connecticut, and then it goes down to Danbury, Connecticut.

[00:51:54] I don’t know anybody in Danbury, Connecticut. I’ve never been to Connecticut. So I wake up in the morning and I say, Lord, what [00:52:00] is this? I don’t know anything about Connecticut, I don’t know anything about Danbury, anything like that. And the very next day, I stand up at the bars in my cell and there’s a book laying on the bottom tier.

[00:52:10] And I asked the orderly, a guy that sweeps up, I said, Hey, will you bring me that book? And he brought it to me. I looked at the cover of it, and the cover of it said the title of the book was Miracles. I said, yeah, I might like this. I love to hear about miracles. I laid down on my bed and opened it up and in the forward the author says, I grew up in a small town in Connecticut named Danbury

[00:52:32] And I said, Lord, come on. He just does that. The Holy Spirit is funny, right? What are you doing? And I enjoyed that book. I really did. But so I was hearing from God real clearly. So in 2020, he gave me a dream. And in that dream, he showed me scriptures on a wall rotating, and they would just rotate every so often, just inspirational, powerful promises from God.

[00:52:56] When I woke up in the morning, I told the Lord, very similar to what I [00:53:00] told him many times. I said, Lord, I can see it, but I don’t understand it. I don’t know how you would have to show me how it works and what it is. And the next night he showed me, he actually showed me how it would work and what it was.

[00:53:11] And so when I got out in 2022, February, all the shock, my young daughter comes to see me and she says, Hey, here’s a cell phone, a iPhone 11, your whole life’s gonna run off of this. Oh my iPhone . Yeah, I’ll show you how to use this. But she lives like two hours away. So like, I bugged her so much.

[00:53:29] She’s just like, dad, please try to learn some of this on your own. So, I started to try to work construction. I was gonna go work construction, and the Lord spoke to me the first week and he said, if you don’t do something with the idea that I gave you, I’ll give it to somebody else. Ooh. And that was it for me.

[00:53:46] I quit. I began to focus solely. On the idea that he gave me through the grace of God, I met some people at a place here called the Peoria Next Innovation Center. The director of that center, his name’s Michael Stubs. He’s a [00:54:00] former fraud investigator. You used to work on big cases for the F B I . I met him.

[00:54:04] We did a couple zooms. I told him my idea. I was straightforward with him. I said, look, I got it from God. I don’t, I don’t really understand it, but the Lord gave it to me. He’s not a man of faith. But he had me come up to their building and he said, look, I don’t even know if it’ll work or not.

[00:54:18] But he had dug into my background. He knew who I was. He knew my situation. He said, but you’re welcome to come up here. So essentially he gave me a second chance at life in society. From society’s point of view. I started going up there. We worked on it, and now, I mean, here you are. Nine months later, I have a business.

[00:54:33] I mean, I have a overseas manufacturer. We’re making these beautiful scripture frames and they’re just awesome. I mean, people love ’em.

[00:54:43] Diana Winkler: Oh yeah, that sounds amazing. And. So you’ve never been like, at this point in your life, tempted to go back to that selling drugs stuff because now you have a legitimate way to make a living.

[00:54:57] Steven Snook: Oh, even before that though, Diana, there was no [00:55:00] way I could ever go back.

[00:55:01] I’ll tell you something that the Lord told me in 2017 when he was speaking to me, clearly he just, the Holy Spirit was like, if you ever go back to selling drugs, I’ll take you off the earth. He didn’t say I’d lose my salvation. He didn’t say he would torment me or torture me or put me in prison for another 20 years.

[00:55:19] He said, I will just take you off the earth. . And I said, okay, I understand that. You know what I mean? I understand that. That’s never something like that so far beyond the realm. I mean, I’m pressing into God so hard. I essentially live a fasted life. You know what I mean? I live that life where I’m pressing into Jesus every day because my job and life, it’s not just the scripture frames.

[00:55:39] Yes. I want that to be prosperous. I love it when people get ’em. Cause when they get one, they usually buy two cuz they’ll buy one for their sister or their mom or whatever. I mean, who wouldn’t want something like that? I mean, so the people love that. Okay. My job though, on the rest of the time I have on this earth maybe 40 years, is to help as many people as possible.

[00:55:58] And it doesn’t matter if it’s people in [00:56:00] church that are a little bit more spiritually hungry, if it’s somebody that my testimony’s gonna change them or help them be inspired and not kill theirself that day. I got an email the other day from a guy in Canada. He emailed me on Christmas day. He said, I’m emailing you this on Christmas Day, and I want you to know that just came across a podcast episode that you were on out of the state of Washington.

[00:56:21] And he said, I work in a prison, in a federal prison in Canada. And he said, it’s an extremely dark place. I’m going through a lot of stuff there. There’s a lot of strife, there’s a lot of problems. I’ve had issues there for the last couple days. I haven’t known what I’m gonna do. And I listened to your episode, he said, and I wanna tell you something man, please don’t stop what you’re doing.

[00:56:41] You are changing people’s lives. And I appreciate that. He didn’t have to tell me that, cuz I’m not gonna stop. But I did appreciate it. You know what I mean? So it’s going out there and it’s spreading out there. So yeah, that’s my job. Help as many people as possible. I don’t care if it’s a man, I don’t care if it’s a woman, somebody in church, [00:57:00] somebody laying in the gutter or it doesn’t matter to me.

[00:57:01] Diana Winkler: Have you familiar with Celebrate Recovery? Have

[00:57:05] Steven Snook: you heard of that? Yeah, I have heard about that. Yeah.

[00:57:08] Diana Winkler: You’d be a really good minister for that ministry too. They’re all over the country. Oh, is it Christian based? Yes. It’s Christian based and people from all walks of life come in and they process their trauma and abuse and addictions and it’s a safe place for people to come in and get help, so yeah, definitely you’d be an asset to that.

[00:57:31] Steven Snook: Maybe I’ll check into that a little deeper.

[00:57:33] Diana Winkler: Yeah. So you were out and you got this new life. What would you tell the folks listening? What advice would you give them to someone that they didn’t have the perfect life growing up? They had the abusive home and they went through some they made some terrible choices.

[00:57:58] went the wrong path, and they [00:58:00] don’t think they have any hope for God to use them or even forgive them or forgive themselves. What advice would you give our listeners today?

[00:58:09] Steven Snook: The largest encompass encompassing advice, if I wasn’t breaking people down into genders or maybe ages and how far separated they were from the abuse, I’m just gonna talk to the general audience as a whole.

[00:58:20] Okay. When you look at that and you look at what you went through and how unfair and how horrible that was, and how it changed your life for the worst in so many ways, I want you to change that mindset a little bit, and I want you to think about how you could use what you went through as a strength and the way that you’re gonna do.

[00:58:44] You’re gonna have to pray. Okay? So if you’re not born again and you’re listening, you’re gonna have to let that faith rise up in you, you’re gonna have to hit your knees and you’re gonna have to let ask the Lord Jesus to come into your heart. The message is so simple, okay? Paul said it. This is what I preach.

[00:58:58] Okay? [00:59:00] Christ born of a virgin, Christ crucified on the cross and killed Christ in the tomb. Christ raised from the dead. This is what happened. Ask Jesus to come into your heart. Say, Lord, I want to use what I’ve been through in my life and I want you to help me use that as a strength so that I can help other people.

[00:59:16] Lord, cuz I’ve been in terrible, dark place. I’ve felt completely depressed, downtrodden, kicked around, abused, helped me. Jesus. Use that as a strength so that we can catapult something that the enemy wanted for evil to be something that’s good

[00:59:34] Diana Winkler: Such wise words and advice and. I know we talked about a lot of stuff, covered a lot of ground.

[00:59:42] Was there anything we left out that you wanted to talk about that I didn’t ask you?

[00:59:49] Steven Snook: No, I just, I appreciate this opportunity. I really do. I appreciate meeting you, super, super professional and I pray that your audience will get something out of this. I know that a [01:00:00] lot of people listening to your show have been through some terrible things that when a psychologist or a counselor tries to talk to ’em about it, a little voice in the back of your mind says, this person has no idea what I’ve been through.

[01:00:14] And you know what, you’re right. They really don’t. I don’t care if they graduate with a master’s in psychology from the University of Illinois or the University of Phoenix or what, they really don’t because each situation’s unique. Find a way, dig in there. Ask the Lord Jesus, give me that supernatural ability, Lord, to heal from this, to forgive anyone that’s harmed me, and to use this as a strength to help other people.

[01:00:40] And you know what? He’ll do it. I know he will.

[01:00:44] Diana Winkler: He does! Tell the folks how they can get in touch with you if they’d like to connect.

[01:00:50] Steven Snook: I would love to do that. And if people out there are even interested in what is going on right now, what God’s doing in my life, and how everything’s moving forward, because it’s moving at a [01:01:00] record pace.

[01:01:01] I mean, if you don’t see me for like a month, you’re like, what are you doing now? I’m just like, I’m, it’s just God’s ti, it’s what he’s doing, so they can go to my website, Jesus speaks llc.com. The LLC is, stands for Life, Liberty, and Christianity. So it’s jesus speaks llc.com. They can go to my website and on there you can get on the email and kind of figure out what I’m doing.

[01:01:25] I’ll talk to you back and forth. There’s an opportunity there for a person if they wanna buy some scripture frames for their self or for their family. All that stuff’s on there. We’re gonna do a complete website redesign. I’m thinking next week is what I’m hearing, so that’ll be awesome. And then you’ll be able to get information about my book that’s coming up, which I know that God’s gonna use it for a powerful, just a powerful tool because I’ve let people read parts of it at times.

[01:01:51] And I had a PhD scientist meet me at the door of the building that I live in. So here’s a guy that’s done 20 years in prison meeting at [01:02:00] the door with a PhD scientist that I had sent him a PDF of, a rough draft of my book, and he said I was only able to get to 18 pages. He said I was only able to get to 18 pages and he said, this is incredible.

[01:02:15] From what you went through to where you are now. And the person that I know, because I would talk to him in the atrium when I would eat my lunch, and that’s all God, that’s God’s grace. That’s the Lord Jesus coming into a life and transforming the course of that life. He can do it for me. He can do it for anybody.

[01:02:33] These aren’t platitudes. It’s absolutely practical. There is a solution for this.

[01:02:39] Diana Winkler: Amen. So make sure you send me a copy of that book when it comes out. I will promote it for you. This has been so amazing hearing your inspirational story and God bless you. Thanks for coming on the show. .

[01:02:57] Steven Snook: Thank you for having me. God bless everyone in your audience. In [01:03:00] Jesus name.

[01:03:00] Thank you for listening to the Wounds of the Faithful Podcast. If this episode has been helpful to you, please hit the subscribe button and tell a friend. You could connect with us at DSW Ministries dot org where you’ll find our blog, along with our Facebook, Twitter, and our YouTube channel Lakes. Hope to see you next week.