My story begins on July 21, 1963, when I was brought into this world. The third child, second son of six children. If you remember the Brady Bunch - we're a lot like that - 3 boys and 3 girls, except we were one family and of course we didn't have "Alice."
I can tell you a lot of stories about growing up on a farm in Beaver County , PA. I think we wounded a lot of our angels, I fell out of the car twice, once the car behind us stopped over top of me. Once I was helping pull tree stumps with a tractor and chain and my father backed over me. I still see the look on his face, all this with no broken bones. Once I had a bike accident and I broke not my leg, not my arm, but my jaw. I had to have my mouth wired shut and eat through a straw, it's not very fun. Do you think I could stand have my mouth wired shut for 6 to 8 weeks - not a chance. Lets just say I had to go back to the hospital, but the wires were already out. These are great stories, but they're not the ones I want to talk about here.
When I was born, I was born to a christian home. We went to church most of the time Sundays, Wednesdays, CYC, VBS, Revivals, then camp and family camp. I don't know if you ever did this but Sunday evening service was at 7:00 PM. At about 6:15-6:30 we would wander off to the fields where our parents couldn't see us. They would call us but we wouldn't come until we saw the car leave without us, then come back so disappointed we missed church, you see I didn't want to go.
I was born in a christian home but that doesn't make me a christian. I came into this world separated from God and the only way to get to him is through faith. We would go to camp in the summer, I would give my heart to the Lord but would not stand very long after I came home.
In the 8th grade I went to a christian boarding school 450 miles from home. They also had a lot of church services, I stayed tender to the lord, but still up and down. My Junior year I got so sick of this up and down believing. In a revival service I decided to confess my sins and give my heart to the Lord. I heard a lot of sermons on sanctification (filled with the spirit) and knew this is what I needed to do if I was going to live a holy life for God. I am so thankful for that second work of grace, dying out to my desires and doing what God wants me to do.
God kept me through my senior year and then I went to college, I went to a bible college for one semester and realized that this wasn't for me, but it was one of the most important things in my life, for that is were Kim and I started to date. Kim finished the year and then went to community college. I went to work for a 1.5 year. We kept god first in our dating and saved our selves for marriage ( I'm proud of that.) We were married June 16, 1984 and went to college, Kim graduated and I took a summer class that lead to a full time job, 8 hrs. short of my bachelors degree thinking that I could always finish. Josh was born in '87 and Lindsey '89. We moved to Maryland when Lindsey was 2 months old, Jared was born in '90 and Benjamin in '93. Life was so good, but the house was too small, we prayed and trusted God to help us find or build a new home. It took three years but God brought us through.
It was in that time I learned it's easy to be a christian most of the time, but it doesn't compare to the peace he gives in the hard times. I found I was living a christian life as if god was coming back some day and not living as if God is here now. Through his holy spirit God would know me as one of his own when he returns. I'm thankful that God's holy spirit helped me make some more needed changes. I'm thankful that I have God's presence with me through his holy spirit.
I have that deep settled peace in my soul as when I was saved , as I was sanctified., I feel and know god's presence today.