I’m a father of eight kids, and we’ve been involved in things like ATI and the Journey for years. People would say I’ve got a good Christian life. But I didn’t always understand what it was to really follow Jesus Christ.
I had accepted Christ out of desperation around 1979 or so. I didn’t realize it then, but what I actually wanted was an easy fix, not God. I asked Him into my life, but slowly, other things came between us – gods of this world; playing in a rock band, going to school, a growing career, and more than anything – a lack of zeal to really want to know Him. Although I thought I was a Christian, I now know I was not. I wasn’t ready to follow Him. How do I know that? Because my life hadn’t changed. My “walk” did not alter. I was fine living the way I’d always lived, believing what I’d always believed. The only difference was that I would occasionally turn my head to see if Christ was around. But, He did not affect the path I was on. I chose each step I took… He was just supposed to catch me if I fell.
This went on for years. Then the crisis point in my life happened.
In 1986, I was almost done getting my third degree. This one in Electrical Engineering. I was consumed with proving I could be an engineer. But working full time, taking two tough courses a semester, and trying to raise a family became too much. I couldn’t cope with the stress of trying to live my life using my own strength. I knew I was in trouble when I had studied diligently for a test, was confident I knew the answers, sat down to take it, and couldn’t recall one thing that was on the test. It was a nightmare.
I was walking the world’s way and it was destroying me.
I was burned out and finally had to stop and really analyze what was going on. Where was the Joy I was supposed to be experiencing? Where was the Peace I thought was supposed to come? I met with a Christian I respected from my wife’s church and told him I was in trouble and didn’t know what to do. He laughed at me and said “You know exactly what you have to do.”
He was right. After thinking it over, I knew I needed to get serious. Life was no longer a game. Too much was at stake, for me to hold out, and try to maintain control. For too long I had wanted Jesus to be my helper, but not my Lord. It was time. I needed to bend my knee and willingly follow the only Hope there was.
I did that on February 14th, 1987 and I was quickened, made alive by the mercy and grace of God. Some people scoff, and ask me how I know that this time was the ‘real thing’. Simple. My whole path changed completely. Things were much more black and white than they were before. Right and wrong were so much clearer. Before, I was indifferent to the rights of an unborn child: Abortion had been a woman’s choice, now I sorrowed over what was clearly murder. Things like adultery had been excusable for some reasons – now I realized it was horribly wrong.
I was a dead man finally being brought to Life. What freedom came when I was quickened and taken from that way of death and put on the path of life.
I disobeyed God many times before my true acceptance of His son’s Lordship in my life. Sometimes I’m still stubborn, and insist on my own way, but it’s amazing to see that in spite of the many times I fall, I still want to follow Him. I actually care that I’m doing what He wants me to do. I know that His path for me is good.
My favorite verse now is Romans 1:16
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
I now travel the path of Jesus the King, and am no longer under the rule of the prince of the power of the air. Satan’s power over me, and the path he once tried to put me on, have no hold compared to Jesus’ love.
I don’t follow the course of destruction the world mapped out for me anymore. I walk in the path of Life.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
(Father’s Journey leader in 2011 and 2013 prison Journey Leader)