Putting into words what God has done in your life to change you, is not
always an easy task. I am amazed, when I look back at my life, where God has
brought me from. I suppose I could fill pages with the blessings and comfort
He has given me over time. We can often talk with those who are not Christians
about the things of God and the Bible, and they can say it is all untrue.
However, it is impossible to argue with a change that is made in someone's
life. It is tangible and can be clearly seen. This is why sharing our
testimony with others is important, to show an unbelieving world the changes
God can make, and to edify and build up brothers and sisters in Christ.
I grew up in a church going family, belonging to the Lutheran church.
I was baptized as an infant, believed in Jesus, prayed, attended church
regularly, and was confirmed. As I understood it, that meant I was saved.
However, I do not think most people would have seen me as a Christian by
my life. I bore no fruit, and Christ was not at the center of my life. I did
a lot of things I should not have done. Sometimes, when I look back, I
wonder how I could have done things like that.
While this can be a controversial point, I personally do believe God
knows who will come to Him, and always has known. I say this only because,
I believe God had His hand upon my life even before I knew Him. I see
situations, looking back, where my life could have easily gone down the
wrong path, and miraculously, God stepped in to protect me. I had friends
who ended up alcoholics, doing drugs, and even dead. My best friend in high
school killed himself not long after graduation.....
I had a difficult life growing up, however, I know that my problems pale
in comparison to the ones many others have faced, but to me they were very
real problems. I was not outgoing, and on the quiet side. I always struggled
with school. I was a perfectionist in everything, and never felt good enough.
It was impossible to live up to expectations that were placed on me, both
from myself and others. This left me angry and depressed many times. I was a
good athlete, and I buried myself in sports. I was one of the best in my
area at the sports I was in, but I was still unhappy, because I was not THE
best. I felt like a failure because I did not win every time I competed.
After high school, I went off to college. College was a miserable time
for me. The problems I faced, only got worse. I was in a totally different
environment than I grew up in. It was like moving to a foreign country.
Because of the differences, and my not being outgoing, I had no real friends.
Everyone went home to families on the weekends, and I would be alone. My
struggles with school were magnified. I would literally spend days studying
for tests to understand the material. It is hard to describe how depressed
I became. However, near the end of my time in college, I met a woman who was
to bless and change my whole life, and become my best friend (and still is
to this day). She was fun, outgoing, and friendly. She was also a
a Christian. I saw something in her that I did not see in the other
women I knew. I respected her morality, honesty, and caring nature.
After almost 2 years of dating, we were married. We spent one year in a
place close to school before moving to the city we still call home. My wife
became involved in church once we got settled. I could see changes happening
in her. She was talking more and more about the Lord. At times, it really got
on my nerves. The things of God held no interest to me. I was still
miserable and struggling with the same problems. I had no real joy or peace in
my life. I would find happiness in different things from time to time, but the
happiness never lasted. I would move from one thing to the next, believing
once I get this, then I will be happy and my life will be better. It never
was... All of this time, behind the scenes, my wife and many others were
praying for me.
In 1994, we decided to meet my parents for a vacation. We found out that
there was going to be a Billy Graham Crusade around the same time, so we
planned our vacation for that time. I was feeling something inside of me,
convicting me that I needed to go to it. I had made a decision that I was
going to rededicate my life to the Lord that night. I was sure I was already
saved, because I had followed all of the doctrine I was told I had to follow
to be saved... I was greatly moved that night by the power I felt in that
building. After hearing an awesome testimony, I decided I did not want to wait
any longer, and I prayed right then. Even though I felt sure I was already
saved, I wanted to have no doubts. I called upon the Lord and asked Him into
my life. I do not remember what I prayed, but I know that I was crying out
desperately. I wanted a relationship with Him. I needed help, and only Christ
could do it. At that moment, I felt a peace, a peace I had never felt before.
Calmness swept over me. I realized pretty quickly that I had never had a
relationship with Jesus, nor even knew Him. I will NEVER forget that day or
moment (Oct 27,1994) for the rest of my life. Thank you Lord!!
Soon after I got home from that trip, I had a strong desire to learn more
about the Lord. I found out that Billy Graham had tracts from all of his
sermons, so I got all they had and read them every moment I could. I also
started reading the Bible little by little. I found it very difficult to
grasp at the start, and actually got a children's Bible and read that. From
that, I went to a Living Study Bible. I was starting to grow and understand
more. After about three years, I was getting a little frustrated. I had a
peace inside of me, and my life was much better, but I still hurt inside at
times. I wanted to grow, but I could not find any sources to help me. I made
a terrible mistake, and continued to for quite some time after. I was bitter
about my church past because I had been mislead so much. I had no idea what
a powerful church could do in a person's life, so I was looking for source
after source to help me outside of the church.
In about 1997, my wife and I were talking about the Lord one day, and I
told her about my frustration at not growing like I wanted. She told me
about a woman on T.V. named Joyce Meyer and told me I should listen. (I know
the controversy about women teaching and preaching and I am not going to get
into that.) There were some things about her that bothered me when I first
heard her, but her words touched me. She had gone through a difficult and
abusive past, had been bondage to sins, and made many mistakes. She overcame
them, and now told others how they could too. I started taking notes in a
notebook and taping the shows. I saw a way out of my past. It lit a fire in
me, and my life really started to change.
After another year, I was looking for another step in my growth. I wanted
to move up again, but did not know where to look. In Sept 1998, I awoke on a
Saturday morning. While I laid there, I was praying and heard God's voice
clearly. I do not remember the exact words, but God was telling me to get a
computer and get on the internet. I had always abhorred computers and the
internet. I thought, and frankly still do, that they would be the downfall
of our society. Not knowing anything about computers, I got a webtv, a cheap
way to get on the internet that same day. After a very short time, God
lead me into chat rooms. They had a religion category, and that is where I
went. I was fascinated at how they worked, people from all over the world
talking about God. I did not say a lot right off. One day, while in one
of the "Christian rooms", a guy came in looking for help. As I remember, he
was talking about the problems he and his live in girlfriend were having. I
started asking him a few questions about his life and salvation, and the whole
room turned on me. I was shocked at the abuse I received. They asked me where
the things were located in the Bible that I was talking about. I really had
no idea, I just remembered reading them somewhere. This started what was the
beginning of a passion in me. I did not want to be in a position again where
I could not lead someone to a place in the Bible that might help them. As I
sat in chat rooms or talked, I watched for questions I could not answer or
things I needed to know, and I went to the Bible for answers. I poured over
the Bible, studying, searching, using concordances and commentaries. I could
not get enough. I would spend nearly every free moment studying. I had a
passion I never expected would happen to ME over things of the Lord.
While I was learning a lot about the Bible, and growing stronger and
stronger in my faith, I still did not feel like it was the reason God had
called me online. On Oct 10, 1998, my life was to change dramatically. I had
found a person online from my hometown. We got to talking about a lot of
things. I asked him if he had been born again. He had never been and was
having a lot of problems, and he asked me how to be born again. Well....
I had asked a few people before if they had been born again, but no one had
ever asked me how to be born again. I was terrified! I went scrambling for
some papers I had on how to witness to the lost. I spent four hours that
night trying to answer the questions he had. At the end, I asked him if he
wanted to pray and ask Jesus into his life and he said he did. He prayed
right then and said he felt so much better and felt the presence of God. I
was so excited I was dancing and yelling. I did not sleep for two nights
afterwards. It was then clear to me why God had called me online. He wanted
me to be an evangelist, and witness to the lost. God then lead me to a room
where an ordained pastor taught and witnessed. I spent several months
learning from him and witnessing to others, and God used me to help several
others come to know the Lord.
In April of 1999, after much prayer, several other people and I felt
lead to open a room of our own. On April 30, 1999, we opened our room
called JesusAlive. There were amazing things happening almost from the
start. People were coming in and asking how to be saved by the dozens. People's
lives were being transformed. It was just an incredible move of God. But, with
this great moving came something else, Satan was watching. We all had a fire
for the Lord, but we were not mature. Problems came for almost everyone
doing a work in there, and soon after the room fell apart. I also was facing
problems in my life like I had never experienced before. As I stated earlier,
I had isolated myself from the people that could help me the most, a good
church body. I turned to people online, and I know they were trying to help as
much as possible, but it was not a comfort to me. I knew I needed to get into
church and fast. When I went that first Sunday, I rushed to the altar when
there was an altar call. I cried out to the Lord as hard as I ever had for
help. People prayed in agreement with me. Even in the midst of the pain, I
still felt hope and had a peace inside. After that day, I knew I did not
want to forsake assembling with others again. I learned the importance of
letting others share your burdens, which I did not do because I had erected
a fence around my life. I learned the importance of hugs and having people
put an arm around you and pray for you. Most of my friends now are my church
Through all of the trials, I came to know God in a whole new way. He has
carried me through the worst times of my life. When I look back at the road
He has brought me down, I can only sit in awe. The answered prayer, the times
He spoke clearly to comfort me, the signs He gave me in my low points, He is
indeed a loving Father....
God has restored our online ministry now. He has opened the door for me
work in a ministry, where I am able to further His kingdom in a small way.
He has given my wife and I opportunities to serve Him around the city in
different ways. And, as of August 2002, after praying about it for quite some
time, He lead me to start this website. I thank all of you who have prayed
for me and helped me along the way. It is my fervent prayer that this site
would bless you in some way. To God be the glory!
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