Sharing The Light – Robin Verner

Robin Verner with “The Goat”

This month we finalize our panel of Christian pool players with the introduction of a veteran lady player who confesses a love for pool, but also professes an even greater love for God. 

I grew up in Chicago and when I was a young girl around 10 years old, I would watch my uncle, father, brothers and cousin play pool. I wanted to play so bad but they quickly reminded me that I was a girl and girls weren’t allowed to play pool. So as I would march off with a great feeling of rejection and injustice, I promised them all that when I grew up I would beat them all at pool.

As years went by, I would find opportunities to play pool at my friend’s home and the local bar in Lauderdale- By -The -Sea, FL. I found that pocketing balls came somewhat easy to me and I loved the challenge of the game. I also found that playing pool was a great tool for me to have my male family members and boys in general respect me as an individual. The more I played pool the more I found myself participating in the vices that came with a bar environment. As a teenage girl growing up in Fort Lauderdale on the beach there was no lack of opportunities to party. As my desire to play pool grew, so did my desire to engage in unhealthy vices. I found myself with an overwhelming urge to drink alcohol, smoke pot and use different types of recreational drugs, and play pool every opportunity I could find. It became a way of life. This went on for many years. Only by God’s grace and mercy am I here today to share my journey.

When I was in my early teens, I realized that I had a supernatural gift: people would identify me as being psychic. I felt very in-tune with the supernatural world. I knew there was more to life than what we could see. I learned at the age of 15 that love was greater than hate, so I went on a quest to find out where “love and wisdom” came from. I began to search and take advantage of any and every opportunity of adventure that came my way. At the age of 17 I completed my Jr. and Sr. in one year in high school to begin college in Tallahassee in hopes of working with the physically and mentally disabled. I learned quickly that I would be unable to handle the emotional side of this career. So, I returned to Ft. Lauderdale and joined my family working in the motion picture and commercial industry. I was handpicked by Franco Zeffirellii to be a model in his remake film “The Champ”, with Jon Voight and Ricky Shroeder, (this was Ricky’s first movie). I was in a commercial for Yankee Frank Hot Dogs with Luis Tiant, a well-known baseball player for the Yankees; in addition to a variety of print and other extra parts in motion pictures. In 1980 I joined the Army. I went to boot camp with the Marines in Ft. McCullum. Three months later I received an honorable discharge (I had some health issues which cut my time there short).

I continued to party hard and pursue my quest to find where “love and wisdom” came from. After the Army I was living in the Keys. An opportunity came along called the Mariel Boat Lift. I joined a boat of Cuban/Americans and we went to Cuba to help set their loved ones free and bring them back to the US. This event was reenacted by the movie “Scarface”. As Americans, we were fortunate to survive. I personally drove 60 Cuban refugees back to America while the captain of the ship slept. It was a life changing opportunity to see these beautiful people be released from such a terrible dictator.

I used to watch Bill Cosby on TV while I was growing up and I knew he had the answer to life because no matter what situation arose, he always seemed to have a good attitude. God allowed me to meet Bill Cosby when I moved to Las Vegas in 1980. He became similar to a counselor for me. Yes, I was one of the young girls that used to meet him on many occasions in his backstage room at the Las Vegas Hilton, which is now the Westgate Resort. God also allowed me to understand that Bill Cosby was not able to help me solve my quest to find the answer to where “love and wisdom” came from.

During that time, I also met someone who God used to help change my life. It was our fellow beloved pool player, Mike Massey. I met him with Gene “The Glove” Catron in 1981 at a BCA event. Mike sang songs about Jesus as he, Gene and I walked down the Las Vegas Strip. I was somewhat embarrassed because I had never been around anyone who was so vocal about God and Jesus. I found Mike to be a gentle and kind person and I knew that there was something very special about him. Little did I know that God would use Mike’s zealousness years later to help me to decide to give my life to Jesus and God. 

Eventually I moved back to Ft. Lauderdale to be with my family. This was in 1984. My party life increased so badly that I didn’t want to live anymore. I was almost raped two times and I told God if He was really alive, and loved me, to please let me die because I felt like I was living in a concrete jungle. As God would have it, the VERY next day a friend of my family came to visit. He was a carpenter. He and his co-worker came to do some work for my mom. He had become a Christian and so was his co-worker. They couldn’t stop talking about the healing and delivering power of God and Jesus and how God delivered them from drugs and alcohol. They spoke about the unconditional “love” that God has for us. 

The next day God woke me up and I heard this message: “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”. I had never really tried to read the bible before that day, but after my encounter the day before with those two men and hearing that message, I decided to open up a family bible. It was crazy; the bible opened to Proverbs Chapter 9 verse 10, which reads, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”. The more I read the bible the more I found that all of my life’s questions were being answered. I felt something inside of me come alive! I felt a presence that was unlike any other.  I felt God calling me to enter into a place of PEACE and rest for my fearful and anxious mind. Finally, I had found the answer to where “love and wisdom” come from! 

My family friend the carpenter, and his wife and a group of others then led me into a prayer of repentance and into salvation, and I became a Born-Again Christian. 

I am so grateful for God’s love and wisdom. One of my favorite scriptures is in the book of John chapter 8 verse 32. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”.