MY FAITH STORY
The conclusions I reached about God up to my early twenties were confined to a basic feeling that there is a God whose handiwork is visible in the wonders of nature. But I had no idea that a human being could have any kind of direct connection with Him.
My moral compass was governed by pragmatism and personal interest. At the time I imagined I was just an ordinary young man trying to find his way in the world in the most pleasant, pain-free manner possible.
At age 25, after much persuasion by a mutual friend, I went on a blind date with Gloria, whom I later married,. We liked each other right away and continued dating. I soon learned she was a professing Christian, though she did not wear her faith on her sleeve. I noticed that Gloria was not self-absorbed but interested in and concerned about others around her.
After we dated a few months, Gloria invited me to attend church with her. The first thing I noticed as we entered the church was the friendliness of the people. As the pastor began his sermon, it became evident his theme was that, while there are no real conflicts between science and Christianity, science falls short in solving life’s most pressing issues. But what surprised me most was what he said about Jesus Christ. What he said about Jesus sounded downright revolutionary. He asserted that Jesus was God’s son, and that he came to earth for the express purpose of dying a substitutionary death on a cross for all of the sins of all people including mine. If what he said was true, my conduct or behavior could never curry enough favor with God to earn His acceptance. He said that anyone who puts his or her faith in Jesus as Savior instantly becomes a child of God, bound for heaven by Jesus’ resurrection. If what he said was true, my "little" sins were as condemning as those of a hardened criminal.
Later that year Gloria and I were married and began attending a church where the Scriptures were held as the authority in these matters. In early 1962, under Gloria’s gentle and patient influence, I put my faith in Jesus and in His death on the cross for my sins, the largest of which was my deliberate independence from God.
Anyone who knows me is aware I am not a sinless person. The older I get the more aware I become of the extent of my own sinfulness. But God continues to work on my imperfect character through the counsel of the Scriptures, through the influence of His Holy Spirit and through the influence of others in the church. Many years have passed since that day. I am amazed at how gracious God has been to me over the years. He has blessed me with a loving and faithful partner in my wife and with three wonderful children. He has faithfully met my every need.
Over the years a quotation of Jesus’ found in John 6:68 has become indelibly burned in my memory. At a point where many of His followers deserted him, He asked his closest disciples if they too would desert Him. Peter responded by asking, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”