Please contact us if you have any questions or comments or would like some encouragement?
I have known Mike Hayden for many years; he was a Christian with a big heart for the Lord and God’s people all the years I have known him. Mike would give you his shirt right off his back, do what was needed to help a brother or sister in Christ, or simply anyone! ~ Bill Greguska
This photo, on the right, is of Mike Hayden and his wife, Susie Hayden. Mike has been active in ministry for many years. He was active at Basics in Milwaukee.
Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
In Loving Memory Of Mike Hayden
January 26, 1949 – February 18, 2019
Message From The Founder Mike Hayden
I believe everyone should do something greater than themselves, regardless of who they are. Whether it’s adoption or helping people who are sick or poor, or whatever, that’s what God put us on this earth to do. ~ Tim Tebow
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Mike Hayden A Man Who Loves The Lord!
I have witnessed that Mike has a huge heart for Milwaukee and helps kids in the inner city and even orphans. I first met Mike Hayden at Eastbrook Church around 1992. He had a Bible study on the Holy Spirit’s topic that I sat in for a few weeks. Mike also had a part to play at BASICS ministry for many years.
What Mike was teaching made a lot of sense to me and gave me a clearer understanding of my faith. After Mike Hayden decided to trust Christ, he gave up alcohol and found a new “medicine” to cope with life — a genuine love for God. God wants to do the same thing in your life! May Mike Hayden’s testimony be a witness to God’s love for His people.
Here Are Some Helpful Links:
- Can true friendship, according to the Bible, be defined?
- Does the Bible say much about the evangelization of children?
- What does it mean to train a child in the way he should go?
- Principles that should distinguish a Christian business from others?
- What does the Bible say about setting goals?
Mike Hayden & Wife Sue Minister In Milwaukee!
Marching For Jesus! Getting past the problems to the solutions I have been ministering in Milwaukee since 1994 and for the last ten years full-time. I am burdened by the spiritual condition of Milwaukee, WI. Most people believe that Milwaukee has a social problem, gang problem, drug problem, and the list goes on. Milwaukee has a sin problem, which must be dealt with spiritually. I am asking you to please consider praying this with Susie and me daily. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them with me. ~ Mike Hayden
Poem by Mike Hayden
1. My son do not forget my teaching (it can be far-reaching)
but keep my commands in your heart (for this is just the start)
2. for they will prolong your life many years (and help to wipe away your tears)
and bring you prosperity (that can lead to charity)
3. Let love and faithfulness never leave you (they will stick to you like glue)
Bind them around your neck (to keep your feet firm on the deck) (never look back)
4. Then you will win favor and a good name (both of these are the same)
in the sight of God and man (this is God’s plan)
5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart (this is very, very smart)
And lean not on your own understanding (this is what God is commanding)
6. In all your ways, acknowledge him (if you don’t, your life will be grim), and he will make your paths straight (this is God’s word and not a debate)
7. Do not be wise in your own eyes (this is what God’s Word directly implies)
Fear the Lord and shun evil (and you will have victory over difficulties and upheaval)
8. This will bring health to your body (this is something you can embody)
And nourishment to your bones (but only by God who sits on the throne)
9. Honor the Lord with your wealth (this is something you can do yourself)
With the first fruits of all your crops (these are to be tithed upon after they have been sold in the shops)
Heaven Is Waiting – Live Or Death?
I want to share a promise with you. If you were to die today, would you like to know that you could spend eternity in heaven and not in hell?
John 3:16 reads-“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son (Jesus), that whosoever (you) believes in Him (Jesus) will not perish (spend eternity in hell) but have everlasting life (an eternity in heaven).”
To “believe” is more than an intellectual agreement that Jesus Christ is God. It means to put your trust and confidence in Jesus Christ that He alone can save you from the fires of hell.
Put Jesus Christ in charge of your immediate plans and eternal destiny. Believing is trusting His words as reliable and relying on Him for the power to change. If you have never trusted Jesus Christ, let this promise of everlasting life be yours and believe.
It’s as simple as praying, “God, I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for me and shed his blood for my sins.” By putting my faith in Jesus Christ, I will always know I will spend eternity in heaven with You whenever I die. Not because I am a good person, but because of what Jesus Christ did for me. Thank You for this promise. Amen.”
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
~ Mike Hayden
P.S. I know this is true, I prayed this prayer on May 6, 1970, and my life was a mess. I knew the life I was leading would eventually lead me to an early death. To be truthful, I knew I was going to die. I was running with a wild group and had been arrested on more than one occasion.
I knew that the life I was living could put me in the House of Correction, Wales Boys Home, or Waupun. Fortunately, that life ended on May 6, 1970, and my new life In Jesus Christ began. The past 47 years have been one of love, joy, and peace. It can be yours as well. The choice is up to you. LIFE OR DEATH?
Hoops Reach Out To The Inner City Kids
We donated our HOOPS4KIDZ program to St. Marcus Lutheran School. They have been doing a great job with the kids and their families. I have included an attachment that I received from St. Marcus as they are looking for Christian coaches.
Please take a few minutes and see if you can help or know of anyone who can. The kids never forget the people who make the time to help them. Amen, and thank you! ~ Mike Hayden, Founder/President
Related Pages Of Encouragement:
A Special Link for a Little Extra Encouragement
Recently the Salvation Army contacted Mike and Susie Hayden of Positive Programs for the Family/Helping Hands to assist a young lady named Jamie and her three small children in need.
The Hayden’s emailed their friends with a list of items Jamie needed. One of the friends who responded delivered the things in person; Jamie’s situation so moved her heart that she emailed her friends asking for help. The response to her appeal was superb.
Working Unto The Lord!
Over 75 items were donated, including mattresses, furniture, kitchen supplies, and children’s items. Mike and Susie are thankful to those who provided so many items and will continue to help the Salvation Army with similar assistance to other families.
This situation was a beautiful example of God’s people coming together in Milwaukee to meet needs and is a perfect representation of Hayden’s vision for their ministry: to directly and personally connect those in need to those who have enough to share.
Hebrews 13:16 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices, God is pleased.”
On The Topic Of Prayer Walking
Back in the 1990s, I was involved with March for Jesus. At that time, Steve Hawthorne wrote the book “Prayer Walking.” At first, the concept seemed strange to me. As time went on, I realized it was a great way to pray for people as you were walking.
Personally Reaching Out To Others
About a year ago, I came across “Prayer Waving,” and there are a couple of ways it can be done. While you drive and see someone walking, you can give a short beep, smile, and wave to them. Many will smile back and wave. The next step is to ask God to send someone to the person you waved to and tell them about the shed blood of Jesus. A second way is if you are walking and a car passes you, you can wave to them. If they wave back, ask God to send someone to tell them about the shed blood of Jesus.
People Do Respond To Love
When I walk my dog through our development, I average 7-9 waves. Not only do I receive a lot of smiles back, but it is a chance to pray for 7-9 people to hear the message of Jesus. Prayer walking and prayer waving at the same time.
Try it. You might be surprised how pleased people are to see you wave at them, and one of them may come up to you in heaven, hug you, and thank you for the beep or wave? ~ Mike Hayden
John Wooden Pyramid Of Success
Mike Hayden’s Testimony
~ By Mike Hayden
I was raised in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. I was the oldest of five children, and M&I Bank employed my father. As I look back on my childhood, I was an unhappy child who was incredibly insecure and angry.
I believe that the following attributed to some of those feelings. My father, at times, felt that I was a failure in his eyes. He was a sports guy, so I excelled in sports to gain his attention. When I was performing well, he was proud of me.
So, I ended up being one of the best players on the team. My dad was often gone because his bank position required him to do a bit of entertaining. As a result, I didn’t have an opportunity to spend much time with him, and there were times.
I felt all alone. Growing up, I was a gifted athlete, and that made my father proud. But it wasn’t long before that would end. As I stated before, I had a tremendous amount of inner anger. Coming from a history of drugs, alcohol, gangs, depression, when Mike went to the Lord, the Lord changed him and his past ways!
I Discovered The Medicine That I Needed To Cope – Alcohol.
I discovered this when I was a sophomore in high school. But there was a significant problem developing. When I would drink, my behavior became violent. As the alcohol gave me a sense of freedom, I now realize that the inner anger was released. It wasn’t long before I was removed from the basketball team for breaking training rules.
Basketball was my sport as well as my father’s. I had colleges looking at me in my junior year, and my future in sports seemed pretty promising. That all vanished. Understandably so, my dad was disappointed. I now was drawn to guys who were like me, down and outers.
My drinking became more frequent, and I was on a downward spiral. I felt worthless, hopeless, and angry. I had various run-ins with the police and was arrested on more than one occasion. This didn’t endear me to my father. Since I barely graduated from high school and was accepted to UW-LaCrosse on academic probation.
I was an emotional mess, and I hadn’t been in LaCrosse one week before being arrested again. I spent most of my time drinking, playing cards, and sleeping. I was also placed on school probation for an incident I was involved in that almost burned down the dorm. At the end of the school year, I was told not to return because I flunked out and was considered a nuisance.
When I Returned Home And, I Was Asked To Leave. That Was Music To My Ears. ~ Mike Hayden
I wanted nothing more than to be on my own. I was 19 years old, and I called a friend of mine, and we found a roach-infested apartment on the east side of Milwaukee that we could afford to live in.
To give you an idea of what the premises were like when we were in the basement looking around, I turned, and the landlord was urinating in the corner. It was no Hilton or, for that matter, a Motel 6. But it was ours, and I finally felt free from the control of my father and mother. You can probably guess what the next year was like.
Gangs In The Area
I met more down and outers like me, and we formed a gang and did what gangs do. The only difference between gangs and us today is that we didn’t use weapons. We used our fists. There was alcohol, drugs, girls (mostly runaways), burglaries, break-ins, and fighting.
We were a violent group. That was our trademark and what we were known for violent behavior. I now found that I needed my medicine when I woke up in the morning. It would continue during the day, and about 80% of the time, I drank until I passed out. Many mornings I would wake up in a pool of blood, had broken bones and didn’t even know where I was or how I got there.
This Was My Life, And I Didn’t See Any Other Way Out.
My family, school, coaches, and society had rejected me. The only acceptance I felt was with the gang. As sad as it may sound, I would have died for them and them for me. I was in a downward spiral feeling hopeless, worthless, and angry.
The downward spiral was out of control, and when I was 20, I concluded that I would never see the age of 22. I had almost been killed on a couple of occasions, and to be truthful, and I didn’t care. I just wanted to get through the day and hoped I’d see another one.
God Watching Over Things!
The unfortunate thing about that is when you don’t care whether you live or die, you don’t value anyone else’s life. I could have killed someone with my bare hands and slept soundly that night.
So I continued. I had been arrested a couple of times, but it was usually for disorderly conduct, and it meant a fine or a night in jail. But in my heart, I knew that I had committed crimes that could have quickly sent me to the Wales Home for Boys, House of Correction, and even Waupun.
By God’s Grace!
I believe it was only the grace of God that prevented that from happening. As the days went by, things got worse. I now wasn’t even sure I would see age 21. Then a young man at a church service approached me one evening and asked me, “Brother, are you saved”? I was drunk and looked him in the eyes and said, “You aren’t my brother, and I don’t know what you mean.”
He pulled out a Bible and showed me some verses about salvation, and he asked me if I wanted to be saved. I shook my head in disgust and walked away. But to be truthful, I was so out of it I couldn’t respond positively even if I wanted to.
But something happened that evening that caused me to think. Maybe I need to get right with God. Naw, look at the parents he gave me and the life I am living. He doesn’t care about me, and I am doomed!
This Time, I Was Working Part-Time
I worked at the Continental Baking Company as a painter. One of the men was a Jehovah’s Witness and asked me to read some material. I disagreed with what I had read, but my spiritual interest had been aroused, so I started to look at the Bible and had some material on Christianity.
Did I think maybe I don’t have to continue to live this way? Perhaps there is an answer? Is it God? So I went back and attended the church in which I was raised. I was anxiously looking forward to going. I went about three times and walked away as empty as when I went in.
Now I was confused and concluded that it wasn’t going to be God. I decided to get a good job…that will help fill the void.
So I, Mike Hayden, enrolled in a management-training program with Continental Baking Company. It helped, but it didn’t fill the void that I had. A career wasn’t the answer.
I need some stability in my life, so maybe I should get married. I was seeing a girl and begged her to marry me. We were married on February 14, 1970. I had just turned 21, and she was 18. The void was still there, and I was so disappointed.
Marriage Wasn’t The Answer, And It Ended In Divorce.
Then it happened. The Vietnam war was going on. If I didn’t get into the Reserves, I was going to get drafted. It scared the living death out of me. I had called the shots these last few years. How was I going to come under the authority of someone else? Plus, I knew that I couldn’t “pop” the sergeant if I didn’t like him. I was scared to death.
I was able to join the Wisconsin Army National Guard, and on May 6, 1970, I was to fly to Fort Ord, California, for my basic training. The day I got to the airport, I said goodbye to my wife and boarded the plane.
From Fear To Faith!
I sat in the seat of the plane in disbelief, and Mr. Tough Guy was shaking like a leaf. I was given a fanny pack with toiletries, and inside was a pocket New Testament. In desperation, I pulled it out and started to read the verses about salvation. For some strange reason today, they looked different from when I had looked at them before. They made sense.
But again, in my mind, I couldn’t understand how a loving God would take me just the way I am. I had never experienced unconditional love in my whole life. So I struggled and tried to get it out of my mind, but it wouldn’t leave.
Finally, I Bowed My Head And Told God That I Believed!
I Believed that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins. Jesus paid the penalty for my sins by shedding His blood, and He wanted to be a father to me. I told Him that I didn’t understand how He would want a piece of trash like me, but I was willing to accept this truth by faith.
Then I lifted my head, and something miraculous had happened. I felt as though 1,000 pounds had been lifted from my shoulders. I was experiencing peace in my heart that I had never had. It was sort of like I was watching this on TV, but it was a reality.
I thought, what in the world is going on here? It was the saving grace of Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit I was experiencing.
Satan Is Real!
Then Satan chimed in and threw out statements like, “You don’t believe that garbage, do you?” “How could he save a loser like you?” But I knew it was real. I had tried everything else, and the only answer was Jesus Christ. That is why I know Christianity is the truth.
I returned home and started my new life in Christ. I left my old friends, found Bible-believing in the church, and grew spiritually every day.
Because of my life experiences, I am drawn to ministering to inner-city youth, gangs, and ex-offenders. Many of them are in the downward spiral that I experienced, and it is a terrible place. I know. I was once there for many, many years.
The Word Of God Is Powerful To Those Who Believe.
Instead, it is a vehicle for communicating ideas: it is living, life-changing, and dynamic as it works in us. With the incisiveness of a surgeon’s knife, God’s Word reveals who we are and what we are not. It penetrates the core of our moral and spiritual life.
It discerns what is within us, both good and evil. The demands of God’s Word require decisions. We must not only listen to the Word; we must also let it shape our lives and act on it.
Written by Mike Hayden with minor editing.
Remembering Mike Hayden by Mark Mallwitz
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
Pastor and Ministry Leader Appreciation Breakfast
On Monday, February 18th, 2019, BASICS Team member Mike Hayden went to be with the Lord following a car accident.
I want to share three areas of Mike’s life with you: Mike’s love of his family, Mike’s love of others, and Mike’s love of Jesus Christ.
- Mike Hayden loved his family. He prayed for his family every day. He wrote poems about his family. He always was proud to share the good things that were happening in their lives. He enjoyed spending time with his family as much as he possibly could.
- Mike loved others – For the past 25 years, Mike has been serving others in the greater Milwaukee area in many ways. Some of the selfless and loving ways Mike loved people:
- Mike was an action guy. When Mike heard of a need, he would either handle the problem himself or contact others and ask them to join him in helping serve someone else.
Mike established and developed an inner-city basketball program called Hoops for Kids.
- Gave countless Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers tickets to inner-city youth
- Served on a board of directors for an urban ministry for several years
- Picked up and delivered thousands of household items to people all over the city of Milwaukee – if there was a need, Mike, Susie, and his team of people would go and get what you needed and deliver it to you free with no strings attached – just because Mike loved people!
Mike and Susie oversaw a ministry called Positive Programs for the Family/Helping One Another.
Their primary objectives were to show care and compassion for those in need, identify with others’ distress to help relieve their discomfort, and come alongside organizations that help lift families out of poverty.
Mike loved Jesus Christ. Before Mike Hayden met Jesus Christ and began to follow Him on May 6, 1970, Mike described his life as “Involved in gangs, alcohol, fights, being arrested, an emotional mess, and my life was filled with fear.”
After Mike met Jesus Christ and began to be a disciple of Jesus, Mike described his life as filled with joy, love, and peace!
I met Mike Hayden at The March for Jesus in the late 1990s. Mike had a march or a parade for many years in Milwaukee, declaring to everyone, “I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus – No turning back, no turning back.”
And Mike did not turn back. He followed, served, and loved Jesus faithfully for almost 50 years.
Because of that March for Jesus, the first Christian event I ever attended, I have been following and serving Jesus Christ with Mike and Susie Hayden for over 20 years.
One of Mike’s favorite Bible verses was John 3:16-18
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life, for God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in the Son (Jesus) has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
Mike Hayden had his life changed forever when he put his faith, life, and hope in Jesus Christ. And he wanted not only to tell everyone how much Jesus Christ loved them, but he showed everyone how much Jesus Christ loved them by his actions.
More Encouraging Testimonies
- Pastor Billy Graham
- Pastor Francis Chan
- Pastor Jeff Schreve
- Pastor Ron And Sue Sauer
- Pastor Ron West
- Ben Hersh
- Bill Greguska
- Brian Larson
- John Wegner
- Lisa Stackpole
- Lora Kesselhon
- Mike Hayden
- Mom’s Legacy
- Ray Jablonski
- Terri Mitchell
Find Hope And Encouragement From Our Links!
- If you just started believing in God, we have a page specifically for you.
- If you are dealing with anger, stress, or depression, we have information to help you.
- We have phone helplines, website links, YouTube videos.
- You can learn more about us and our goals, and our purpose.
- If you have a drug/alcohol problem or if you want to get right with God, you are at the right place!
- If you need to talk to someone right away, you can call 800-633-3446 or click here.
- Finally, if you have any questions or want to get on our email list, just let us know.
For Encouragement Call 1-800-633-3446 or Chat