The Early Years
I had a semi-religious upbringing. My parents were non-practicing Catholics, and did what they thought best which was to send me to Catholic Sunday School (Catechism classes) for several years. I initially liked going because of the Bible stories, etc. I loved the stories about Jesus and even used to play church and set up a little alter in my bedroom and had my parents come and read from some Bible tracts that I had come across.
As I got older, the lecture format of sitting in "school" on the weekends while preparing for My "First Holy Communion" and later my "Confirmation" seemed to be a bit too much for me. I started to complain to my parents about Sunday school. I was "confirmed" and my parents eventually relented to my pleadings and let me stop going to church. For me, I didn't see any value in it as my parents didn't go and the services seemed boring to me.
Hey, I'm A Believer, Now!
When I was 15 - 16 years old, I would spend all of my spare time “hanging out” at the local small town deli, which was owned by a Christian family. My days of boredom were spent at this little market which also had video games and delicious meatball sub sandwiches. While going there, I was befriended by a brother and sister who worked there. They would play Christian music in the store and have tracts by the register that they would put in their customer's grocery bags as a way of witnessing. I spent a lot of time there on a daily basis and they would, in turn, tell me about Jesus and His love. They asked me if I had a Bible and at that point in my life, I had never seen one let alone own one. I said that I didn't and they bought one for me. During my upbringing, my parents had a Catholic Missal and according to them, that was all that mattered.
Throughout the two years that I lived there, they also provided me with tracts, booklets
and an occasional "In
Touch" tape. This great people invested a lot of time talking
to me, inviting me to church picnics, etc. I had questions about life and death.
We talked about sin and Jesus and they told me
about God's plan of salvation and Heaven. This was something that I
wanted, so in watching how they lived in conjunction with the Holy
Spirit's conviction, I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus as my
Lord and Savior in June of 1984.
We soon moved to Florida and needless to say, my spiritual life suffered, due to my being a minor and parents’ control and unbelief. To supplement my longing for fellowship, I prayed daily, watched the local Christian television station and took a job at the local skating rink. The rink had a special night for church groups in which they needed a “Christian music” disc jockey. I took the position and was immersed in music and had the opportunity to meet a lot of fellow believers.
Still during this time, I was depressed and had no close connections to any Christians. Being a typical teen, I fell into depression and some mischief that I'm not particularly proud of. This all culminated with my running away from home when I was 17. I was found 250 miles away from home four days later as a clerk in an convenience store that I had stopped at turned me in to the local police.
Upon arrival home, I repented to God, got my act together, graduated from high school, and talked to the Christians that I did know. My parents' grip on me loosened a bit and I started attending church and Christian concerts with my friends. My spiritual life grew now that I was an adult and I began talking to my parents about Jesus.
I am married to a wonderful lady with a heart of gold and have four terrific children. My spiritual life as an adult believer consists of daily prayer and worship, integrated with personal Bible study.
In the fall of 2004, I felt the call to vocational ministry on my life. I had felt it before, but this one was extremely strong. My wife, sitting next to me in church even noticed that something was happening and encouraged me to meet with the pastor. I pray that I will be attending college soon in order to obtain my degree and then enter vocational ministry.
In April of 2007, we felt called to a new church, so I resigned my position as an adult Sunday School class teacher and began praying for God's will for our family; that He would lead us to a great Bible-believing, Christ-honoring church with a good youth program for our children, which He has. God is good, all of the time!
I seek the Lord’s will for my life on a daily basis as I try to live my life as an example to others as to the love of God as evidenced through me.
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