My Story

Jesus Christ has been at work in my life. And there's a lot left for him to do. I'm so thankful for his presence, like streams in the desert of my life. If there's anything good and alive in me it's only because of his grace. 
God came into his creation in history for redemption in Christ. He died for sins and arose bodily for our justification and to be the beginning of God recreating the universe. The risen Christ enters into believing hearts through his Holy Spirit. Allow me to share a little about how I've experienced him coming into my life, working regeneration and restoration.
I can't adequately summarize what God's been doing in my life for 30+ years, but suffice it to say that he has been like a life-giving river in the waste place of my soul. There was once a time when I didn't believe God existed. But once he got a hold of my dad, he took hold of my mom and myself. It was my dad's faith in and passion for the Bible that did it. I found out that this book written by several different human authors from all walks of life over a 1,500 year span of time was united in its testimony to Jesus Christ. No contradictions. Though written by humans it ultimately spoke to me with the very authority of Almighty God. So I couldn't help but bow my knee to him in faith, asking forgiveness for my sins because of his death on the cross for me. Life was never going to be the same again.
But I still had a lot of growing to do (as I still do). And although I would say my faith was real, it was far from perfect. Very far. In fact, by the time I graduated from high-school I was seeking satisfaction not in God, but in other things like drugs and fornication. I ended up hurting everyone close to me. All my relationships suffered, because I was living for myself but pretending on Sundays like I was a good little Christian boy. Pretense, duplicity, and selfish hedonism. My parents were frustrated, confused, and grieved for me. My home was basically just a bed for me to sneak into at 2 or 4 in the morning, after spending the day and night in a hazy marijuana stupor both at work and afterwards with my friends. My parents didn't know what to do with me, but their eyes were on the Lord with their prayers in his ears.
They were praying for me, and I'm so glad they were because God came through and rescued me from my selfish folly. I remember the night of the turning point that God ordained for my life. My friends and I had just eaten some chocolate-covered, psychedelic mushrooms. I had already been beginning to grow in discontentment with my druggy lifestyle. So when one of my friends suggested we go 'lawn shopping' that night (that means: stealing things from people's yards) it instantly struck me as stupid. But more than that, it seemed to knock loose an old passage of Scripture that I had hidden in a dusty corner of my mind years prior.
'My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait...we shall find all precious goods...throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse"--my son, do not walk in the way with them...' (Proverbs 1:10ff, ESV)
I steered the group away from that option (quite literally, I was driving my black full-sized Blazer at the time--yes, while stoned). Nevertheless we all converged upon my friend's home--whose parents were gone for the night for some reason--to stupefy ourselves further.
We all gathered in his garage, turned the lights out, and someone flipped on a hand-held black light. After oohing and aahing at how cool and trippy things looked under that light, one friend held the light up to his face. 'Adam, look at this!' he said. I looked, and what I saw scared me into my wits. I don't know if I was hallucinating or what, but it seemed like some thing was glaring at me through my friend's illuminated face and eyes. So, in my fear I decided to extricate myself from the situation.
I beat feet outside. It was a cool fall night. I walked over to my Blazer. And then I broke. I looked up into the clear black sky with its full moon, and I repented. 'God,' I prayed, 'I can't do this anymore. Please forgive me.'
I know that not everyone has these kinds of dramatic life-changing turning moments. But this was the point God brought me to, in answer to my parents' prayers, to turn my face to him in repentance and faith. He began giving me the strength to say No to the drugs that I couldn't seem to help but say Yes to. He helped me resolve to stop hanging out with my friends, including my girlfriend, who were not helping me turn to God at the time. It was completely a move of the Holy Spirit, because there were even other sins besides these which God began giving me victory over. I could feel his support and couldn't help praising him for his help that night.
Oh, and another thing happened. I think just to show me that he was in control and because he loved me and knew I couldn't do this repentance thing on my own, he opened my parents' eyes so they could see more clearly what was going on in my life--so they could help point me to him.
Check out this 'coincidence.' ('Providence' is a much better word.) God ordained that the very night I began repenting was the same night my mom found a note in one of my pants pockets while doing laundry, which clearly stated, 'Don't worry. Your mom doesn't know you're stoned.' (Note explanation: When you're stoned you get paranoid. And especially so when your mom calls you and you have to talk with her after just smokin' it up. You see, my girlfriend's mom had called her, and I had written the note to comfort her. But, alas, I unwittingly put that note back into my pants pocket only for my dear mother to find. Little did I know about God's ironic grace. He would use the note I wrote to comfort my girlfriend about the wool over her mom's eyes to effectively pull the wool off my mom's eyes!)
The next morning I went to my kitchen to have some breakfast. My parents were there, and I could tell something was amiss. It was written all over their faces. 'Adam, what does this note mean?' my mom asked, and showed me the note she found. I was ashamed, but I choked out a confession to my parents that I had been getting stoned all the time. Then I said 'But I repented of this last night.' I may have said that to sort of protect myself a little, as I felt exposed. But it was true. And my parents shouldn't have believed me. But they did. It sounds like simply the words of someone who's been caught red-handed. But I was telling the truth (for once). God had turned my heart to him, and was using my parents to help me continue repenting.
'Will you try your hardest to stop this, Adam?' My mom asked. 'I can't,' I replied. Somehow God helped me realize down deep that I didn't have the innate ability to save or help myself. My mom looked perplexed and concerned. So I explained, 'I can't. But God can.'
The story of my life hereafter has been those words slowly coming true. God has been making me new. He's been refreshing me with his grace and given me a new addiction: His Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. My Savior! Soon after this beginning of my repentance, he spoke these words to me:
...forget all that—
  it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
  See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland...
Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland...
(Isaiah 43.18-20, NLT)

I married the most wonderful woman in the world, moved to Chicago, got a B.A. in Bible with an emphasis in Greek (the language the New Testament was written in), and became an elder in a gospel-proclaiming church.

Soon after graduation I got a job and became a father of twin boys and my wife quit her job. But with our income halved and our family size doubled, we realized that life in Chicago with its high cost of living was unsustainable for us.

Thankfully, after some searching, God provided a great job for me in Cincinnati, where the cost of living is great and it's really kid-friendly. And God helped us find another great gospel-proclaiming church here. So now we're focusing on rearing our boys in a godly way, learning about the needs of this city, and praying about how we might best serve the people here for God's glory.
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