I grew up in Searcy attending church with my family. Despite loving Christian parents, like most children I knew, I mainly went to church because I had to. I did not have a relationship with Jesus or a desire to grow in my faith. I knew there was something missing in my life and I kept trying to find happiness in the things of the world.
When I was in the ninth grade, a man with Fellowship of Christian Athletes came to my school and gave a talk at lunch. He explained that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23, For all, have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God) and that the consequence of that sin was death (Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin, is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord). A death apart from God. He presented the Gospel of Jesus and told about His life and then His death on a cross for all sins and then His resurrection from the dead. Then He told me that because of the sacrifice that Jesus paid to forgive my sins that He had made a way for me to be reconciled to God. He told me that there was nothing I had to do to earn any of this…it was a free gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.) I wanted that, so I prayed for forgiveness of my sins and asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life.
I would love to say that my life became perfect after that, but it didn’t. Though I was saved, I was still flesh and I lived according to my flesh. There had been a change in my body, but I did not have anyone in my life that helped me grow and showed me how to obtain a true life change. I was still living independent of God and not acknowledging my sin. For the next 15 years, I lived the life of a convenient Christian and never tried to be anything other than a milk-drinker that Paul talks about in First Corinthians. I was not growing. I could not handle the meat of God’s Word. (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)
I went to a Christian concert with my soon-to-be wife and rededicated my life to Christ, soon after God brought a man into my life who wanted to disciple me and help me grow. Scot Worthington invited me into his life. He modeled Christ for me and he taught me how to study God’s Word. He discipled me! I learned to yield to the Holy Spirit and let Him help me grow. I began to experience the JOY that only comes from God, and I experienced the abundant life that Jesus mentions in John 10:10.
Today I am still not perfect and life is still sometimes hard, but I do not worry because I know God is in control. He has given me a peace that I never knew before and a love for others that I did not know was possible. He has given me a godly wife, Sheri, and two beautiful daughters, Grace, and Lyndsey. God is so good!
My Hope for Fellowship is that we be a people who are drawn to God’s Word and that His Word is the standard of our life. That we all are discipled in the way Jesus discipled His men to the point that we can then disciple others by sharing truth and life with them. And that we become a people who are filled and powered by His Spirit and become His witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth! (paraphrase of Acts 1:8)