I grew up in a “hippie” home, where I didn’t realize there was a difference between a joint and a cigarette until I was about 10 years old. My parents were both loving and encouraging to me, but their relationship was extremely volatile and unhealthy. My father, who today is a Christian and one of my best friends, was ensnared in violence, sexual immorality, and drug addictions. I say that not to shame my father but to give you an insight into the battles I was to face as a young man who attended church only at Christmas and Easter.
As a young man, I thought I had the world by the tail. I had money from selling drugs, fear and respect from my friends from winning a national boxing title, and was always the life of the party. I was completely unaware that I was headed down the same path as my father, as the power of drug addiction, sexual immorality, and violence began to expose my shaky foundation. But little did I know that God was working behind the scenes, and His plan included a young lady named Leah, who would later become my wife. Leah came into my life in the midst of this chaos, and she began to shine the light of Jesus Christ into my dark world. ()
After a few arrests and a near suicide from a drug overdose, Leah gave me an ultimatum. Attend a couples Bible study or end the relationship. Though I reluctantly agreed, I went to the Bible study as high as a kite. Not only was I too cool to hang out with these “Bible Thumpers”, but I was extremely skeptical of any kind of religious activity. BUT the minute I walked in the door of the Bible study, I became aware that the God of the Bible was pursuing me. Over the next few months, the men of the Bible study testified that the Bible was a real story, not just a fairy tale. I was drawn to the testimony of Jesus’ work in their life. I was overwhelmed b my need for Jesus Christ to rescue me. On a cold night in January 1996,Jesus came to be the sweetest reality I had ever known. In tears of hating who I had become, and in the hope that Jesus was truly alive and real, I asked Him to save me from my sin.
That night began a life of following Jesus Christ. My favorite verse that reminds me of just how great a salvation I have received is from
In that same chapter is my favorite reminder of the great promises that are for me by faith, and that the life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God..
My heart for the church and for Redeemer is that, by trusting the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,we would make disciples and not just “get people saved”. That is my calling on my life and one I am both excited and serious about.
19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (ESV)
5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, (ESV)
21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (ESV)