I am blessed to have been born into a Christian home with believing parents. At the age of nine, at a revival in January of 1970, I was saved by accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Shortly, thereafter I publicly demonstrated my faith through believer’s baptism.
As a youth, I lacked personal discipline and discipleship and as a result I did not develop strength or depth in my faith. My relationship with Christ was largely routine and superficial. I learned a fair amount of Bible “book” knowledge, attended church faithfully, and learned to worship Christ in song and in word. I understood God’s plan of salvation and that my salvation was ensured through Christ’s shed blood on the cross, yet I lacked a personal relationship with Christ. I had yet to begin a true sanctification process. I lacked the courage to publicly live my faith. After attending church faithfully through age 19 and marrying Lisa, my high school sweetheart, we relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana. For the next seventeen years I did not walk with the Lord. I didn’t exemplify it through my life and actions. During this season of my life, Lisa and I were blessed with three wonderful daughters.
At age 36, the Holy Spirit nudged me to seek spiritual direction once again. My soul was not at peace; I knew that there was more to life than what I was living. Furthermore, I knew the answer to my question was Christ, but I was too proud to admit it or do anything about it.
In God’s sovereign timing, at the same time and independent of my search, Lisa was also searching spiritually. We were both too proud to discuss it with each other, but the Holy Spirit was convicting us more and more each day to return to a Christ-centered home with lives dedicated to God.
Personally, I was repeatedly convicted by the Holy Spirit of my responsibility to my first ministry: My family. I was routinely reminded of my responsibility to present and live the gospel as an example in my wife and children’s lives. The Holy Spirit convicted me for my almost non-existent participation in this ministry.
While this was happening in my personal life, my business continued to spiral further and further out of control and closer and closer to insolvency. At the same time, still in God’s sovereignty, my Father became terminally ill and in a matter of just a few brief weeks he went home to be with the Lord.
The combination of my father’s illness and death in conjunction with years of my inability to succeed in business (by the world’s definition) broke me before God. Plain and simply stated, I was so self-reliant, selfish, and prideful that I needed to hit rock bottom in order to be desperate and turn back to God. This is where I had needed to be all along, but it took the Holy Spirit working in my life to break my prideful, self-first nature and allow me to be reconciled to Christ. I finally understood what it meant to have a personal relationship with Christ, and I committed myself to that end.
In the years that have followed I have been blessed to find a wonderful, Bible-based church home. To God’s glory all three of my daughters have accepted Christ as their personal savior. Although I am simply a sinner saved by God’s grace, I am growing in my faith day-by-day. I am growing in my personal relationship with God.
Only…….. “By the GRACE OF GOD”