And now for something totally different!
I feel the need to share this with those of you willing to read it.
For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. Romans
"I did not know how empty my soul was until it was filled."
This is a paraphrase of a line from one of my favorite movies, "Excalibur." But it stands so true today to how I feel right now. The reason why is because on May 14, 2000 I gave my heart to the one and only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
What this means to me is that I am a born-again Christian and that Jesus is first and foremost in my life. He comes before myself, my wife and kids, family and friends. He comes before my job. And he also comes before my country. No matter what, he comes first. Furthermore, when I die or when the Rapture takes place, whichever comes first, I am assured by God's promise that I will be united in Heaven with all who have done the same.
This wasn't always the case. Just like Sinatra's song, I wanted to do it MY WAY. If you ask people who know me, one of the ways they might describe me would be rebellious. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that I was a rebel. The thing was, I was a rebel and I enjoyed that role tremendously.
The biggest reason that I was a rebel was due to the fact that my dad was a minister. I hated the idea of being a preacher's kid when I was younger. I blamed my lack of friends on it. We never got to see the Sunday night movie. I was a teenager before I knew the ending to Wizard of Oz. Every time we turned around we were going to another church service. To a kid, all of this was quite serious. Looking back on it now, it all seems a little childish. But that was my lot in life and I didn't like it. This is what happens when you look at the negative side of things all the time.
After I graduated from high school, I moved in with my sister and I quit going to church. I was finally free to make my own decisions. It didn't take me long to mess things up. I couldn't wait to turn 19 so I could hit the bar scene. In about six months time, I completely hit rock bottom. I went from an occasional drinker/partier to an almost every night of the week type of lifestyle. I had smoked a little pot in high school, but now I started doing it again. But that wasn't enough, so I started taking speed. I remember one time when I took 3 hits before going to work one day. Not too long after that I remember taking 8 hits one night. I was willing to try almost anything for a thrill. I was very upset about two of my friends not sharing some cocaine with me. (The best thing they ever did for me!) Then one night my best friend had to drive me home after a party. It was the first time anyone felt compelled to do so. It was an eye opener for me. We sat there in the car and I realized that I hated my life. I was behind on all my bills. I still was unable to meet the girl of my dreams, nothing was going right for me. There were too many nights that the only way I got home was to follow the white line on the highway. I just think the Lord that I never got in an accident. I decided to join the Navy.
It worked. I got off the drugs. I felt that joining the Navy was the best decision that I could ever have made. It is important to note that I was still trying to do things MY WAY. The time that I spent in the Navy will always be special to me. I got to see some of the world that I may have not been able to see otherwise. I still drank alot. One of the problems with being out to sea so much is that there is so much tension built up, it seemed only natural to drink all your problems away once we got into a port. I should tell you that my dad was an alcoholic before he got SAVED. So it was always in the back of my mind that I had to keep a handle on it or I could end up being one. I did get SAVED while I was in the Navy, but I didn't stick with it. It was too easy to fall back into old habits. Looking back on that experience, I can honestly say that I was not mature enough. I didn't realize until much later just how immature I really was. So now it was Sept. 1985. I had just got out of the Navy. I never will regret joining the Navy. But it didn't take me long to figure out that I didn't want to make it a career. I wanted to get married someday and have kids. It may work for others, but I never wanted to be away from my wife and kids for six months at a time.
So I had some good values and morals that let me believe that I wasn't all that bad. Plus, if anyone had asked me if I believed all the things that I was taught while growing up, I would have said yes. Just because I was rebellious didn't mean that I was stupid. So now comes the second phase of my life - relationships. I had never had a serious relationship. Little did I know that it would take 8 years before the right woman would come into my life. The relationships that I had in the meantime where empty. It was either them or me that was playing a game. It's no surprise that none of them worked out. The odd thing about it was that sex always got in the way. I will be the first to admit that for awhile, I was obsessed with it. It was probably due to my believing that I was so far behind everyone else, that I needed to catch up. Thinking about it now, I would say that Satan has to be chomping at the bit when he sees attitudes like I had at the time.
In 1987 I realized that I had to get some schooling, if I ever wanted a good job. So I went to a one year technical school. After a couple of years I finally found a job that was close to home and it actually paid well. The biggest problem now was that I still lived with my parents. I had moved in with them when I got out of the Navy. This and the fact that I still had not met Miss Right was the reason that I was not happy. At least that was what I told myself. So I started to buy supplies for the day that I would move out. When I finally did get my first apartment, I had most of the things that a person needs like cookware, towels, bed, tv and a couple of chairs for the living room. In April of 1992, I finally did it. I was now completely on my own. It took longer than I expected. Funny thing was that about the same time, I was getting really tired of the bar scene. So now my time was spend going to my cousins or friends house to party.
If you are young and unmarried, I highly recommend living with yourself for awhile. One of the hardest things we have to do as humans is to look at ourselves and see us as other people see us. Sometimes it not always a pretty picture. But if you are honest with yourself, it can be great therapy. During all of this time, there was a friend at work that I had known all my life and we would have discussions about God and various religious issues. Each time he would tell me that he would like to see me change my attitude and quit being rebellious.
Finally in June of 1993, I met my future wife, Ingrid. We were in the middle of the Great Flood of '93. We met at a concert. The rock group, Survivor was playing that night. It was appropriate, because from the the very beginning we hit it off. We told each other a little bit about ourselves and found that we had much in common. The next weekend we had our first date. It turned out that she was looking for something to give her spiritual comfort. She was not happy with the teachings of her church. We were married in Sept. 23, 1994. There is no doubt that the Lord brought us together. She was SAVED the following year. Meanwhile, I still was being rebellious. After four years we had two beautiful girls. My friend at work kept telling me that now more than ever, I needed to go to church. So I tried. I would go to my wife's church for a while than quit. A few months later, I would go again. This went on, a few years. I still had the rebellious attitude. A good excuse that I had was that I knew sinners that treated people better than some Christians that I knew. What is your excuse?
One day back in March of 2000, my friend told me that his wife wanted a divorce. It was a complete and terrible shock to me. I had always held their marriage up on a pedestal. In the weeks to follow we had several discussions about how God feels about divorce. He told me that my knowledge of just how good God really is was a big waste because I was not using it to help other people. I will admit that he was right. I didn't realize it, but God was working on me. My wife was involved in a Bible study where she met a women who is going through a divorce. I realized that my friend needed to talk with people that had been through it or was currently going through it. So one night we got them together at our house and they talked for a long time. I was a little nervous because I didn't want her to just sit there and cry about the troubles in her life. It didn't take long for me to figure out that her love and trust and faith in God was for real. My friend was also completely taken by her attitude and strength. A few days later I told him that what he needed to get through this was the Power of the Holy Ghost. For you see, he was already a Christian, but he had never been in a church where you can see evidence of the Holy Ghost. The following Wednesday on May 10, 2000 we went to the church that my wife's friend suggested. We were both thoroughly impressed and inspired to go back. The feeling that I had that night was the same feeling that I remembered as a child in the church that I grew up in. We haven't missed a service yet. Thank you Lord for you mercy, your love, your goodness, and for your gift of eternal life.
Only God knows the future! Our friends may end up getting a divorce. But it won't be the will of God. It doesn't take much to figure out that we as a people need to get God back in our lives and I am talking more than just lip service. I called my mom the day after I got SAVED and she and dad couldn't be more happy. This time it will last because I have the maturity to see it through, with God's help. Make no mistake, this will not make my life any easier. In fact, it could become more troublesome, because Satan is against the whole idea. He wants all of us to join him in HELL when the day comes. The one thing that I want to stress is that it is our choice. We can serve God and go to HEAVEN or do nothing and go to HELL.
Is there something missing in your life?
Everyone looks for some meaning of life. I spent the last twenty years looking for something when I knew the answer the whole time. I can just see Jesus saying to his Father, "You know, this one is going to have to learn the hard way! You might as well sit back, this is going to take a while!" I tried to find comfort in so many things: friends, family, music, alcohol, drugs, doing things my way, sex, jobs, education, living on my own, books, marriage, and children. None of these things gave me the comfort that I feel now. Every time I worked out a problem or reached a goal on my own, there was always a feeling of being incomplete. But not now, because I am a child of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.
As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord God, our Heavenly Father!
Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
All emails will be confidential.
Last Updated June 20, 2000