I was raised in a Christian home and the stories of Jesus were a part of my upbringing. In fact, I don’t ever remember a time that I didn’t know about Jesus. In my early teen years while at a summer camp, I remember the speaker talking about a personal relationship with Jesus and that we couldn’t rely on our parent’s faith to “get us into heaven”. I realized that my knowledge about Jesus was not a relationship with Jesus, and I accepted Him as Savior.
I went on to college, got married and graduated with a degree in Ministry & Music. I was appointed as Pastor of a small church in Southern Michigan. I continued in vocational ministry for 9 years.
During those years in ministry, I really struggled with my selfishness, ego and pride. Though I had accepted Jesus as Savior in my teen years, I had not offered him complete access over my entire life. I was living a life that looked very spiritual on the outside, but inside I was in charge, I was miserable, and I was very stubborn. My pride and ego wreaked havoc on my marriage, leading to an affair and eventually led to divorce.
I had hit my bottom. In my failure, through confession and repentance, I also truly found Jesus’s grace, mercy and forgiveness for perhaps the first time. I committed my entire life to live for Him in all aspects and not just to look good on the outside. The peace and joy God provides is so much greater than I had ever imagined.
God has continued to bless me, including a 2nd marriage to my God honoring wife Annie (married in 1997). She is a daily example to me of God’s grace, forgiveness and mercy. Colossians 3:17 has become a key verse to me: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”