I was born into a Christian home. My parents had both come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ early on in their marriage and were very faithful in underscoring the need that we had to personally seek God in Christ Jesus and repent of our sins. That seed of the gospel took root when I was six years old. My mother caught me in some sinful patterns that I was developing, even at that young age, and corrected me for it. She insisted that I seek the Lord for forgiveness for the sin that I had committed, but what became more apparent to me at that moment was not the singular sin that I had committed but the sinner that I was. I asked God to forgive me for being a sinner, and I asked God to receive me into heaven.
Around ten years old, I had a couple more significant experiences in my Christian walk. The first was that I sought to be, and was, baptized. The experience was an urgent need to serve in ministry after hearing a message about serving God. At that age, it may be thought that I misunderstood what I had experienced, but the Lord confirmed that calling throughout my formative years. In high school, this calling became a measure of grace as it forced me to be intentional about my personal walk with God. Seeking to nurture that calling led me to theological undergraduate and graduate studies, seeking mentoring from faithful men through my local church, and learning to wait on the Lord until He opened a door for vocational ministry for me.
In 2008 our family transitioned from ministry outside of the US to East Tennessee, and I began seeking a position within the continental United States. Although we were praying faithfully for God to open doors in ministry here in the US, I remember one day being compelled to pray earnestly that my resume would find favor with a church where we could love and be loved. It was very close to that time that I received a phone call from the pastoral search committee at Westwood and we began our journey towards making Westwood our home. I began towards the end of July, 2008, and was joined by my family in August.
I met my wife, Marjorie, during the 1996 fall semester. I spent that semester waiting for an opportunity to ask her on a date. Thankfully, I finally had an opportunity (and the nerve) to ask her out. Our first date would be over lunch after the hardest exam I would have that semester, Greek, and my professor was late. Unfortunately, he demanded we take the exam, which meant that I would be late for my first date. But God was gracious. I was able to get word to Marjorie that I would be late and why, before cell phones and texting were a thing, and she graciously waited until I was free for from my exam. Not only did I pass the exam, but we were engaged within a month and a half, and were married that summer, July 1997. God has blessed me with an amazing companion and friend for ministry, as well as an incredible mother to our three children, Gabriel, Seth, and Anna. I am incredibly proud of, and grateful for, my wife and children, and do not feel worthy of these people God has lent me.
The Bible in every format you can absorb it.
Humility and Absolute Surrender, by Andrew Murray. God used these two short books to correct me and encourage me as a high school student struggling with a desire to follow God.
Share a Link to this Message
The link has been copied to your clipboard; paste it anywhere you would like to share it.