I was a young boy when I came to accept Jesus Christ
as my Lord and Savior. I was in the 6th grade, about 12 years old. I didn't know much about church at all. My mother took
me and my little brother to church every now and then when I was much younger. To my knowledge, my father had never set foot
inside a church before.
At this point, in my life, I had never seen much of my father. He was always working
and going out drinking with his buddies after work, until all hours of the night. My mother was always there. She and
I were very close when I was growing up, but you could tell that she was a very unhappy person.
Shortly after I was saved, some men from my church came by and shared the Good
News of Jesus with my father. He accepted Christ that night. The following Sunday was the first time that I can remember
all of us going to church as a family. My father walked down the isle that morning and made his decision public, and my family
started down a totally different path. We started growing closer together and everything seemed to be getting better.
The more my father the grew in Lord, the more he knew that he wanted
to do more than the average Christian. He wanted to make a difference in the world. He started helping young boys that didn't
have much, if any, home life. They were "problem kids." I viewed them as thugs. He took these boys down to his shop and started
teaching them how to work on cars so they might have a future that didn't involve a jail term. He also showed them one thing
that they probably never felt, Love, a father's love. A love that I thought he should have been showing me, after all, he
was my father not theirs. As the years passed, I let my jealousy and bitterness grow to the point that it put a wedge between,
not only my father and I, but God and I as well.
I remember when I was a senior in high school; I surrendered my life to the ministry.
I had a real passion for wanting to help young people. I also felt that this would be a way to make my father proud of me
and maybe our relationship would become closer. It seemed to work too. When I went down to surrender my life, my dad cried
the first tears for me that I can remember, but when Monday came around and I went to the shop, it seemed all was forgotten.
He was to busy helping all the other boys find a purpose for their lives. As my senior year came to a close, I decided I was
going to attend Hardin-Simmons University. I decided I was going to major in Physical Education and become a high school football
coach. I figured that I could help young people without the help of my dad or God.
Needless to say, I never finished college. I dropped out and started working full-time.
I had become a man. I didn't need my father or God anymore. I could solve my own problems. Almost a year after I started
my new career, I met my wife. She was the best thing that ever happened to me. I poured all my love and trust into her. We
dated for almost a year and then we got married. Life was finally looking up. Now, I'm sure that most everyone who is or has
been married found out that the first year or two is full of ups and downs. I found out very quickly that my wife was
just like everyone else, she was human and full of flaws just like the rest of us. My wife and I started having trouble and
I just poured myself into work.
Work became the most important thing in my life. I felt like I could work hard
and move up the ladder. I did just that. I became a shift foreman, and then I even worked my way up to a department head. It
didn't matter what was going on in my personal life, if work needed me, I was going to be there. I was working so much and
so hard that I forgot about my wedding anniversary and had volunteered to pull some extra duty at work one day.
Needless to say, that didn't go over to well with my wife. After all of this hard work and moving up the corporate ladder, I
was still empty inside.
The first part of 2004, my dad came to me and told me that a church in Seymour
called him to serve as their pastor. I thought to myself, this is going to be great. Mom and Dad would be making more
money and I could join the first church and go when I wanted, and not have to do a lot of changing in my life. In fact, I
could lie to mom when she asked me if I went to church that day and she wouldn't know if I would be lying to her or not.
Then, dad asked me if I would lead up the pastor search committee. For some reason, I told him I would. But, with
this new position at church, I wouldn't be able to come and go as I wanted. I had to make sure we had a fill-in pastor every
Sunday. It got to where half the time I tried to get someone, they would have other commitments so I would have to fill in.
As time went by, I quit calling for people to come in and started doing it myself. The next thing you know, the church
had voted to license me. Now I have grown closer to Christ, my father, and my wife. My dad and I have the best relationship
now, and we can talk about anything. The closer I get to Christ, the better my life comes into focus. I put God first, then
my family, and then my ministry and job. I strive to get closer to God every day and learn all I can so I can help set
others free through Christ.