Forgiveness, The Power Of Freedom Is In You! Be Inspired By Brryan Jackson’s Story Of Healing From AIDS: Today, we are interviewing Brryan Jackson on his triumphant life story not only of his miraculous healing from AIDS, but also of his forgiveness of his father who intentionally infected him with the virus and the freedom that comes from it. Brryan Jackson’s story is one of survival and heartache. His story is less about what circumstances he went through, and more about how hope has become his key to living life to the fullest. Tune in now to learn how he overcame and how you can shift your perspective and learn to forgive.
Air Date: 10/23/2017
Guests: Brryan Jackson, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
You can find out more about us at our website WallBuildersLive.com. That’ll tell you a little bit about the organization, but mostly will give you the list of stations and some archives of recent programs.
Also, WallBuilders.com – that’s our main website – you can learn about our organization and you can also get a wealth of tools for yourself, your family, your church, your school, just check it out – all kinds of great DVDs and books, articles, you can download. It’s going to equip you and educate you and inspire you.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.
So David, Tim, you’ve got a great show today. David, you met Brryan Jackson a couple of weeks back at an event and his story just really impressed you.
Brryan Jackson’s Story Of Forgiveness
You used the right word. It was an impressive story. I spent some time with him after I spoke.
It was at a prayer breakfast and speaking to him afterwards who was really impressive and I wanted to have him on to talk to him about it because just what he shared with me, the short time we had, was really impressive. So let me tell his story by simply reading it out of a newspaper. Here’s what it says:
Father Sentenced To Life In Prison
Over 20 years ago, St. Louis resident, Brian Stewart, injected his infant son with HIV tainted blood. When his unfathomably evil act came to light, Stewart was sentenced to life in prison and he was called, ‘the worst kind of criminal’ by the presiding judge. Asked why he would inject his son with a deadly virus, Stewart said he wanted to kill his son in order to avoid paying child support. —
AIDS By The Age Of 5
The infant, now 25-year-old Brryan Jackson, contracted full blown AIDS by the age of five. Doctors gave him 5 months to live. The side effects from his medicine were terrible. Brryan lost 70 percent of his hearing from his treatments. As a 5-year-old child, Brryan was taking 23 different pills, two I.V. bags, and three injections daily.
Five months passed and Brryan was still alive. Another year passed and he was still fighting. Fast forward over 20 years and here Brryan is, not only alive, but healthier than ever.
The virus has been undetectable in his system for the past five years. Something doctors have called a miracle recovery.
“I went from 23 pills, to just one pill a day. And now I’m undetectable. My T-cell count has been up giving me zero percent chance of passing on the virus,” Brryan said.
Brryan contemplated suicide several times, but through it all Brryan credits his Christian faith with giving him the strength to keep going. He says he’s forgiven his father as well – a move that to most seemed just as miraculous as his survival.
That’s a little article on him. That’s a pretty amazing story.
70 Percent Hearing Loss
And I’ll tell you just being with the guy, he was so upbeat and so positive and just outgoing. And having 70 percent of your hearing loss, that has some effect on speech. So the speech is just a little bit slurred, but not enough that you would even really notice it except that you might think it’s a Southern accent or something.
Just remarkable how that with all he went through there’s virtually no side effects and it’s just amazing testimony, an amazing story. Thought it’d be fun to talk to him about it and get some perspective on what it looks like from his viewpoint.
Yeah, what kind of grace has to overcome you to be able to forgive? The person that’s supposed to most protect you and take care of you does that. Only God can do — only God can put forgiveness in somebody’s heart in a situation like this just —
Father In The Medical Profession Obtained HIV Blood
To be a helpless infant and his dad was involved in the medical profession and so his dad obtained that HIV tainted blood and injected him as a medical professional. But here you’ve got a kid, and not just a kid – an infant, who is unprotectable on his own. To be protected by parents.
And the parent does this intending to kill his son so he doesn’t have to pay child support. That’s an unbelievable story and for everything that Brryan has gone through — if you can imagine being five years old and taking 23 pills a day, two I.V’s a day, and three injections – that’s not what a 5-year-old is supposed to experience in life.
That’s not what they’re supposed to be doing. And here’s Brryan on the other side of it. I tell you, look into his eyes and you listen to his voice, there is no bitterness. What he has done is overcome all the bitterness and if anybody should be better, I think probably Brryan.
Reconciliation With His Father
He’s overcome all that, he is extremely positive, he’s upbeat, he has a great testimony. He shares love, he’s reconciled with his father. It is, wow, it’s just — it’s amazing what he’s done.
Incredible. Brryan Jackson our special guest today. Stay with us. You don’t want to miss this one. We’ll be back in a moment on WallBuilders Live.
Moment From American History
This is Tim Barton with another moment from American history. As the American War for Independence began, the president of Yale was the Reverend Naphtali Daggett. When New Haven, the home of Yale, came under attack about a hundred citizens rushed out to meet the British.
The Reverend Daggett galloped by them on horseback, his clearable robes flowing behind him in the wind. He took up a solitary position atop a hill. The 2,500 British soon put the townsfolk to flight but the Reverend Daggett continued to stand alone firing down on the advancing troops.
A British officer confronted him, “What are you doing there you old fool? If I let you go, will you ever fire again on the troops of his majesty?” Nothing more likely was the preacher’s reply. America’s early pastors personally confronted danger and courageously led their communities.
For more information on Pastor Daggett and other colonial Patriots, go to WallBuilders.com.
Guest Brryan Jackson
Welcome back – thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Recently, David was at a speaking engagement, had a chance to meet Brryan Jackson and hear his phenomenal story and asked if he’d come on and share with our audience and he’s with us now. Brryan Jackson, thanks for coming on, bro.
Thank you for having me today. Thank you.
Hey, David, I was just blown away by your story and what inspiration and just full of joy despite the challenges in your life. And man, I just got to ask you. How did you reach a place of forgiveness with your dad? We told a little bit of your story in our previous segment and, to have something like that happen and then for you to reach a place of being able to forgive, what led you to that?
Why Not Me?
You know, I became a Christian when I was 13 years old, I got baptized, and stuff. And from there on I was sharing my story because I told the world — I tell people it’s about a shift in your perspective on what’s going on in your life and instead of asking, “Why did this happen to me?” ask, “Why not me?” And then I believe life’s not about what you can get, it’s about what you can give.
And I started sharing my story, but then I came to this place where things still just weren’t going the way I — the way that I’d like them.
I was still being robbed of my joy. And I just started having some conversations with God and scripture spoke to me that God truly cannot forgive you unless if you forgive other people. And I was like, “Oh no, God, like, I know who you’re talking about – not going to happen.”
So taking these baby steps like, “Oh, I forgive my sister for taking my CD.” And then I just started getting deeper and deeper and deeper and said, “You know what, God, You can have my body – I forgive him.”
Place Of Forgiveness
How did that change you once you reached that place of forgiveness?
So, forgiveness is one of the most liberating things you can do and I believe that because I took that opportunity to forgive, my health has changed completely. I’m now what they call undetectable where my body has been sustained and my T-cell count is at an all-time high – giving me a zero percent chance of passing on the virus. So it gives me hope to become a daddy.
Wow – wow that’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, now you’re out there speaking across the country and sharing your story. What is your hope for your message to others? What do you want them to take away from your message?
Where There’s Pain, There’s A Plan
I want them to know that everything we go through in life has the ability to make us or break us in every situation. Where there’s pain, there’s a plan. There is the opportunity for perseverance and there is the opportunity for hope to be active in your life. And I simply, I just want to leave the world better than when I found it.
I noticed from your website you do schools, you do conventions, you do all kinds of cool stuff. Where do you really get the most joy?
I get the most joy wherever I go, actually. I can’t really pinpoint because each audience is different and each audience brings a different type of the engagement. And every opportunity I get to get in front of an audience is just an opportunity to learn together, and live together, and laugh together and that’s just simply what I want to bring to every audience. And so every audience is unique and it’s different and they all bring me joy.
That’s cool – that’s cool. And the best place for people to learn your story and to book you to speak is BrryanJackson.com. You’ve got two “r’s” in Brryan. That’s the first time I’ve seen that – Brryan Jackson, B, R, R, Y, A, N Jackson.com. They can learn your story there, also book you to speak.
I’m telling you, man, just amazing and sometimes — I love what you said about how you started with easy forgiveness. You know, the first, sister taking CDs or whatever.
And sometimes that is easy, but when we don’t forgive that bitterness it actually is harming us – not the person that we’re unwilling to forgive, right? What would be the take-home message for folks right now that are struggling with trying to forgive someone?
Who Do You Value?
Right now you need to make a decision of who you value. Do you value God in your life, do you value yourself, or do you value the people who have harmed you? And to say how I see forgiveness — forgiveness isn’t about the other person. It’s about pulling yourself from the situation, and taking that situation to God, and saying, “God, that’s not the situation that You’ve created for me. Show me Your glory and my life. Show me who You are. And show me what I’m supposed to do with this situation.” And I guarantee you, when you ask, you shall receive and God will show you the plans that He has for you to prosper.
That’s good, good stuff. Well, Brryan, God bless you, man. Appreciate you coming on and sharing your story. I want to send folks to your website today and we’ll have a link today at WallBuildersLive.com to make it easy. It’s BrryanJackson.com – don’t forget the two “r’s” – BrryanJackson.com
Brryan, God bless you, man – thanks for your time today.
Thank you for having me. It’s been a blessing.
Stay with us folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim.
Bring A Speaker To Your Area
Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.
And you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”
Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.
Start With Forgiving In The Little Things
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live – thanks for staying with us today. Very special thanks to Brryan Jackson for joining us today. We’re back with David and Tim now. Guys, I thought I had things to complain about sometimes — this definitely puts it in perspective. We get upset about things in our life and sometimes we struggle with forgiveness over the silliest things.
Wow – just listen to his attitude, listen to him. Basically, challenging others to forgive in the little things and then what a great example showing us what it will do for you.
Yeah, I can’t. I really can’t even imagine the depth of what he’s had to go through in this situation and then to be so positive and optimistic. You hope if you’re ever in a situation where you’re challenged that much that you would respond appropriately and seeing somebody that has is so inspirational and encouraging and it does, Rick, it challenges our attitude when we get upset when someone cuts us off in traffic —
Just furious and he’s going, “Hey, you know, we need to forgive people and then you’ve got to move on.”
And you’re going okay, wait a second. You know, I probably, yeah, I need to work on my forgiveness. And wow, what a story an example he’s setting.
Robbed Of Joy
Well, I thought it was really interesting where he pointed out that he was being robbed of his joy and he was losing his joy. And that came from unforgiveness.
And I mean that’s a huge lesson for everybody — is look, him not forgiving his father, it certainly didn’t hurt his father who was in jail who didn’t know anything Brryan was thinking. Probably could figure what Brryan was thinking, but the unforgiveness was eating Brian away and he was being robbed of his joy.
Unforgiveness Hurts You Not The Other Person
I thought that’s a huge lesson is that unforgiveness hurts you – it doesn’t hurt the other person. Unforgiveness makes your life miserable – didn’t make his father’s life any more miserable. He’s already in prison. He’s not even talking to his son —
So there’s no effect there.
Well, and there was a quote that years ago — I think it was in high school when I first heard this and tried to commit it to memory, but there’s a quote on forgiveness and it says “forgiveness is setting a prisoner free only to discover that the prisoner is you.”
And it’s so true. We think, “Well, you know, I’m not going to forgive them and that’ll teach them a lesson.”
And then you realize, “Well, they don’t even know that I’m angry and frustrated.” And so I’m the one carrying this burden of bitterness and resentment and unforgiveness and it’s affecting my life. And you’re right, it’s what Brryan points out is he realized, “I don’t have joy. I need to let this go. It’s not worth it.” And ultimately, that’s what unforgiveness does – is it does rob you of that joy.
Forgive To Be Forgiven
You know there’s the teaching that Jesus actually delivered to his disciples that I don’t think people spend enough time on a day. And Jesus said, “Whoever sins you remit will be remitted.” That is, “Whoever sins you forgive, will be forgiven. And whoever sins you retain will be retained.” And that was really more for them.
When Jesus was on the cross and said, “Father, forgive them.” Yeah, He forgave us, but boy, what that did for Him. Saying that for Jesus’ standpoint not retaining any kind of a grudge for all they put Him through, all they did, all He’s going through. He said, “God, if there’s any way, let this cup pass from me I don’t want to do this, don’t want to go through it.”
But the fact that He forgave those who did it was also liberating for Jesus and the example He set that no matter what happens to you, you forgive. And then He says, and by the way, if you do forgive, those sins are going to be gone. If you don’t forgive them they’re going to retain.
And basically, you’re the one that retains them or you’re the one that loses them. When you forgive the sin, it goes out of you and then you’re free. And so he was being robbed of his joy. But you know, Tim, as you said you get set free. And the one that gets set free is you – not the other people.
Be Set Free
Yeah. And Brryan certainly is an example of someone that has walked in forgiveness and, you hear in his voice. In his voice, you can tell that, yeah, he really is not holding on to this. When of all the things that happen to people if somebody has a reason to hold on to this —
Because this wasn’t somebody accidentally did something to you. Right, —
It’s one thing, because sometimes, Rick, I’m sure with your kids, you have to help coax them through. With me being a youth pastor for all the years I was and I still work with young people today, sometimes you’ve to help them through. And part of how you help them is say, “They didn’t mean it, they didn’t even know what they were doing.”
Well, that wouldn’t work in this situation.
Right. I mean you couldn’t say, “Brryan, hey your dad really didn’t know. He didn’t mea–.”
No, no, actually “Brian, your dad knew exactly. He meant it, he intended it.”
And so to look at the situation and see the intent, see the motivation and still go, “I forgive you,” is just incredible.
3 Life Lessons
Yeah, and this is a great place to put in the three life lessons that we talk about from time to time. Out of the Scriptures, what we see in the book of Job is that oftentimes what happens to us is more about how we respond than about what happens to us.
You know what happened to Job wasn’t fair, it wasn’t good. But it was all about God saying, “You watch, they’re going to respond right. They’re going to make the right decision and do the right thing here. Satan, you’re not going to take them off track. He’s going to do the right thing.”
And so a lot of times with us looking around what happens we think it’s not fair but God’s waiting for us to make the right response and choose the right decision. And He’s going to say, “See Satan, you can’t take him off track. They chose right.”
War Over Your Worship
Yeah, Louie Giglio is a pastor out in Atlanta has these big pastoring conferences. And I heard him do a teaching on that I thought was just brilliant. But he talked about there’s a — there could be a war over your worship because ultimately when God and Satan are talking and God says, “Man, look at my servant Job.”
And you know Satan, “Well, it’s just because you’ve given him everything and done…” But ultimately all that came against Job there was a battle to see, as you mentioned, how he would respond. But ultimately, would he now curse God and die? Would he say, “Forget it, I’m not doing this.”?
No he said, “I’m going to keep worshipping God.”
And there was a war over his worship and as you’re saying, it was really to see how he was going to respond in these situations. Was he going to give in? Was he going to succumb, was he going to cave, or was he going to respond correctly in spite of his circumstances or situations?
And so, as that’s the case with anybody no matter what you find yourself in right now. God’s looking for the right response whether it’s fair to you, whether it’s what a boss has done, or a coworker, whether what somebody said it doesn’t matter. How are you going to respond?
Yeah, you can’t, because you can’t control them —
How Are You Going To Respond?
You can’t control them.
You can control your response, but you can’t control what they did to you or how they are —
And remember what Brryan said was, “Forgiveness is one of the most liberating things you can do.” He’s exactly right. You respond right, that’s a liberating thing for you.
The second thing is you’ve got to remember. Nothing catches God by surprise. It’s not that God didn’t know that Brian Stewart was going to inject his son Brryan Jackson with HIV. That was already pre-known.
But so, nothing catches God by surprise. So don’t get shocked by things. God is going to be able to handle that even though it was deliberate intentional. God can still — and that’s the third point is He can bring good out of whatever happens.
That’s Romans 8:28. So no matter what happened to Brryan Jackson with the injection, God is bringing good out of it.
God Is Not Surprised
Well, and let me go back to the second thing you point out is that nothing catches God by surprise. Ultimately the thought is, a lot of times in life we look at situations and we go, “I don’t understand. How did this happen? This is such a big deal.” And it catches us by surprise but it hasn’t dethroned God. It’s kind of the thought.
Right, God’s not going, “Oh my goodness I don’t — I didn’t see this coming, What am I going to do?”
No in the midst of it all, God is still on the throne and so we still have a God we can turn to. And then that third thought is that God can — it’s Romans 8:28 – God can cause all things to work together for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. That God can use it for good.
And right now, Brryan’s testimony is absolutely being used for good. Such an example for so many people.
And even when Joseph told his brothers, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” God is using for good and then it certainly seems like this is one of those situations.
Going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back – stay with us folks. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Hi friends! This is Tim Barton of WallBuilders.This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. I know, oftentimes as parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.
If you remember back in the Bible, the Book of Hebrews it has the Faith Hall of Fame, where they outlined the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity and our faith as well.
I wanted to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called, “The Courageous Leaders Collection” and this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers.
There’s a second collection called, “Heroes of History” in this collection you read about people like Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, the list goes on and on.
This is a great collection for your young person to have and read. And it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at WallBuilders.com.
We’re back on WallBuilders Live. Thank you for staying with us today. Thanks to Brryan Jackson earlier coming on the program with us.
David, Tim what we tend to do is actually let the bad thing that happened to us control our attitude, to control our mindset, blame others, blame, you know, life’s not fair. All that good stuff. And so then that incident controls us for the rest of our life.
Well, what you guys are giving is essentially a formula for saying– instead of letting that thing control you, “I’m not going to let it prevent me from God’s future blessing. I’m not going to let it prevent me from fulfilling my will for God. I’m going to basically drive the bus and not let those incidents in the past drive the bus.”
God Can Make All Things Good
Well, and that’s really where Brryan is. He got those three life lessons down. Whether he was conscious of doing them, he made the right decision – all of them. And he told me at the breakfast, I think it was last year, he was awarded for being the number one most motivational speaker in the entire nation of Canada.
And that’s not that he didn’t have to overcome a lot of stuff to get there. He did. But he made those right choices. He responded right, he realized God still in control of this and recognized that God can work this together for good.
And so having accepted that and acted accordingly, now look how many others he’s blessing as a result. And by the way, we’re talking about his forgiveness and like he said that’s one of the things that liberates you.
Founding Fathers Forgave
I remember the story some years back I found the two Founding Fathers who had been in Congress together. They were on opposite sides of the political spectrum and much as in the election of 1800 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson – there were a lot of mean words said back and forth, really harsh things that went back and forth.
And it wasn’t that Adam said bad stuff about Jefferson or Jefferson about Adams. It was their followers said all this bad stuff about the others. And lots of lies on both sides and both of them had a lot of wounds as a result.
They couldn’t believe that all these, you know, Jefferson was accused of being a murderer. Jefferson never killed anybody. And he was accused of defrauding widows which is as low as it gets. You take from a widow and her orphans, and he never did that.
False Accusation And Forgiveness
And so they had all these lies running around. He was really wounded and Adams was really wounded. But there were two guys in Congress and I think one of them Timothy Pickering as I recall. Pickering served as secretary of war, I think for Washington and Adams, etc. And some years later, the one guy wrote, I think to Pickering, and wrote to Pickering and said, “Hey, all those years in Congress, will you please forgive me for all those really, really terrible things I said about you and did about you?”
And so Pickering writes back and says, “Yeah, that’s fine, but I forgave years ago. It’s my duty to forgive whatever happens to me. You don’t have to ask for forgiveness. I’m glad you did to set you free. But I never let any of that stuff stick. Even years ago because it’s my duty to forgive whoever offends me.”
Duty To Forgive
And so that kind of mentality and attitude is really kind of what Brryan has adopted. It doesn’t matter what happens to me, it’s my duty to forgive. And that’s the way every single one of us needs to be.
And I loved, Rick, when you were asking him, “You speak to all these groups and which kind of them gives you the most joy? What type of meeting?” And he said, “I get the most joy wherever I go.”
Right. That was great.
Perfect answer, man. I was reminded of Philippians 4 in verses 11 and 12. Paul says, “Hey, I’ve learned to have a whole lot and I’ve learned to have absolutely nothing, to be in poverty.” He says, “Through it all, I’ve learned to be content in whatever state I am.”
And of course we used to kid about that and say in whatever state well, we’re in Mississippi right now, and we’re in Tennessee tomorrow, and then we’re in New York. So in whatever state we’re in we’re going to be content.
But it’s that thing of, “It doesn’t matter what happens around us or where we are or what situation comes up, I’m going to be content and happy where ever I find myself.”And Brryan is just perhaps one of the best epitomes of those basic Bible teachings.
Learn From Brryan’s Great Example Of Forgiveness And Miracle Healing From AIDS
It certainly should make us think twice before we get upset about some little thing that happens to us for the rest. Not just today, but let’s try to think about it over the next week or. We could all learn from Brryan and learn some life lessons about how to handle these things. Appreciate Brryan Jackson for joining us today.
We’ll have links to his website today. Get him to speak at your group. You’ll be blessed by it. Thanks for listening today to WallBuilders Live.