I have always believed in God, Jesus resurrection, and Heaven and Hell, but I didn’t believe in a lot of other things when it comes to religion. We went to church a few times when I was a child but not really anything I can recall stuck out for me. Growing up, I never read the Bible. The only person in my school that did, that I remember, was a boy named Jeremy. I never talked to him about it but a few years back I sent him a message telling him that I thought it was awesome he did that, that it is something I remember from high school.
I was a questioning Christian. I questioned people I knew who were Christians but their actions didn’t reflect that they were. ( Note to self : Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones). I know that many people get turned off because of a few bad apples. I questioned TV evangelism Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. I questioned the Da Vinci Code. If Jesus wasn’t born December 25th, then why do we celebrate his birthday then? What about the books that weren’t included in the Bible and why weren’t they? Why does Jesus have so many names? etc etc. I could go on.
Then I met my wife in November 2003 and she introduced me to a few things. My wife went church shopping and walked into our current church, Westerville Christian, and God spoke to her and that this is where we should be. I started going and we sat in the back and I didn’t sing or any of that. I just listened. I talked to our pastor Greg and went through my questions and then all I can say is my heart started to soften. Then I questioned myself, am I really wanting to chance a life forever in Heaven because I have a few questions I don’t have answered. The question turned from what if none of this is real to what if it is? What if I miss it? Now, we sit in the front and I sing.
I was baptized on February 25th, 2009. I didn’t feel any different. There wasn’t an Aha moment but it was the start of a new life for me. One that would prepare me for times to come. One that would awaken my eyes, my heart, like never before. Was I really ready to live my life for the one who died for me?
At the end of 2012 my world was rocked. We will save this discussion for another time when God says I am ready but for now let’s just say my faith in everything I had come to believe in was tested. I asked God to use me and he did, not in the way I wanted to be used but in the way He wanted to use me. I believe in Heaven and Hell like never before. You see, I invited the devil to leave someone else alone and to come to me, I was strong enough. I got what I asked. God used me and the devil came to me. Since I will talk about this in depth later, I will just say something quick now. I never get headaches. Never, not once that I can recall. After I asked the devil in, I was getting headaches all the time, woke up covered in sweat, and sometimes when I looked in the mirror, I could tell the eyes looking back at me weren’t me. I don’t know how else to describe it. I went to counseling and did some pretty intense stuff and we talked about it and went under something called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing ( they use this to treat PTSD) and let me tell you, it is no joke. Anyway, questions came up about what, or who was inside my head and my vision, as clear as it is right now, was the devil. I don’t remember the name I said he said he was but it was real. After a few treatments, and many prayers to God to bail me out of what I asked for, the headaches stopped, the waking up covered in sweat stopped and the eyes not being me stopped. Be careful what you ask for.
Fast forward to now. I know without a doubt God is with me. I have overcome one of the hardest things I ever had to deal with. It took awhile but here I am. Proof positive is that I am writing for the entire world to see. Proof positive is that I am taking a chance on my music getting out there. The peace I feel when I told fear to go away, God’s got this, is overwhelming at times. The battle I had with fear and doubt when I was deciding to get my music out there. Come on man, you can use that money for something else. Don’t do this, no one will like it. The peace I felt after we did the first song and I put the money down, it was like God was smiling on me.
Even after all that, I was still a sinner and always will be, none of us are perfect but at times I was like, well if I mess up God will forgive me so what’s the point. I can watch what I want, listen to what I want, eat what I want and God will forgive me and then repeat cycle begins. Then I said to myself, what do I have to lose. Then God said, try it and see. I tried it, I quit following certain people on social media, I quit looking at certain people on social media, and I quit listening to some music that was negative or treated women or others with disrespect. All I can say is almost immediately I felt a change. I feel like my heart is going to fly out of my chest. I believe I am doing what God wants me to do and I am praying God will use my words and music to reach someone else.
All in God’s time.
If you are struggling with anything, find someone to talk to. We as Christians are not to condemn others but help them walk into the faith. Take baby steps, don’t try to read The Bible in a day. Download the Youversion Bible app and start with a simple devotional. See how God leads you. I can’t tell you how many times I was struggling with something and my devotional that day talked exactly about what I was struggling with. There are new devotionals each month and I just read the ones that jump out at me. This month, and it is amazing how God works this way, my devotionals are: Share Jesus- Go and Give Life, Beginning a Relationship With Jesus, Living Out Your Faith, Trusting God Day by Day, Gods Dream For Your Life, Go: Your Action Plan to Change The World, etc. You get it right? All these devotionals about sharing Jesus all at the same time that I started sharing Jesus. Something to help me in my walk as I start out on this new path for me. God moves in mysterious ways.
A book that may help you is Letters from a Skeptic : A Son Wrestles With His Father’s Questions About Christianity by Dr. Gregory Boyd and Edward Boyd.
Wherever you are in your walk, God will meet you there when YOU are ready to meet HIM. He is always there waiting.
Are you willing to risk everything that it is nothing? Or are you willing to risk everything that it is everything?
Thanks for the donations. I know it’s hard to donate on faith since you haven’t heard the song yet.
Just In Case by Tesla – I don’t want to be knocking on Heaven’s door wondering if I did enough
Everything by Colton Dixon (originally performed by Lifehouse )-I chose Colton’s version simply because it had the words. God is Everything, I never considered this a Christian song until I really read the words
Lord, I’m Ready Now by Plumb – God is waiting for you, it’s up to you to be ready now.
The Man I Want To Be by Chris Young – who do you want to be
Shine by Collective Soul – teach me Your ways
Walk By Faith by Jeremy Camp – my wife’s favorite artist, we have seen him in concert probably 7-8 times and each time we find a way to talk to him. Great guy and follower of Jesus.
The Answer by Audio Adrenaline – He is the answer
On The Inside by Kyle Kupecky –
What I Believe by Skillet – my fav Christian band
See You In Everything by Matty Mullins – love his voice
Believer by Audio Adrenaline – giving up, letting go of control
We Believe by Newsboys –