Growing up in a Christian home with parents committed to my salvation and the local church, I was constantly exposed to God’s Word and His church. This constant exposure affected me even as a youngster.
I distinctly remember as a five year old sitting on the sidewalk outside our house feeling a heavy burden and a strong urgency to have Jesus in my heart because I was fearful that I was on my way to hell. In my simple understanding I knew that “I had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”, and, the punishment or what was owed me was hell. “the wages of sin is death”. I went inside and told my mom who prayed with me to confess my sin to Jesus and have him save me. 1 John 1:9 was one of the first verses I memorized as a boy, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Fast forward twelve years to special evangelistic meetings we were having at our church with a guest evangelist. During that series of meetings centering on our guilt before a Holy God and the just punishment being death and hell, I recommitted my life to the Lord. Granted, at seventeen years old I had more understanding of my sin before the Lord. Ephesians 2:1-5 rang true with much greater clarity which says, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved.” Through the years, even in my faithlessness, the Lord has been faithful. Through my most grievous spiritual failures and trials, He is constant in my life facilitating growth, bringing me into conformity to the image of His Son.
My family and I love the people at GBC and are grateful to the Lord for the body of Christ here. I desire to serve the Lord in any way He leads, including being a shepherd of His sheep. I grew up on the farm and for many of those years we had a flock of sheep. Every year I begged my dad to get rid of those, what seemed like, simpleminded and stubborn sheep. It’s humbling that the Lord refers to me as a sheep, knowing what I know about sheep. It’s even more humbling to me now that He has given me the desire to be a shepherd of sheep like me.