What was my life like before I accepted Jesus as the Lord of my life?
As a child I grew up in a wonderful loving home and went to church every Sunday where I would put on my clip on tie and Sunday bests and go to Downtown Baptist Church in Alexandria Va. When I arrived I would be greeted at the front door by my Great grandfather who would smile and say welcome ( many times without his teeth in), and I would walk down the hall and smell different kinds of food being cooked by my Great Grandmother who cooked every Sunday and prepared the snacks for Fellowship after church in the big meeting room. My father and big sister and I would walk up the stairs and sit in the balcony so we could get a better view of my Mom who would be singing in the church choir below. My father played on the church softball team as well. You would think that with all this family involvement in the church that I would have a firm grasp on who God was, who Jesus was and who I was to both. Not so much!
I viewed church the same way I viewed school, I knew I had to go but didn’t really like it. Both were kind of scary to me when I was young. The church seemed so big and the preacher seemed so loud and usually angry towards the end of his sermon. Pretty standard stuff for Baptist preachers back then. I also remember the Reverend being the only person who talked to God and God would some how talk back to him, He would often say “ the other day I was talking to God and He told me”…. As a kid I pictured The Pastor and God being physically in the same room having a conversation. I was naïve.
I don’t remember the last day that we went to that church but we kinda just drifted away due to the busyness of life or maybe us kids complaining about it too much. Any way I still wasn’t sure what the meaning of life was or my purpose in being on this planet but I do remember believing in Jesus but not living like I had any kind of relationship with Him. I guess as a kid I didn’t rely on him or pray to him about stuff and I pretty much thought that I controlled my own destiny. I never got into very much trouble as a kid and spent most of my time playing sports, playing with friends and developing a love for music.
It wasn’t until I grew up and started having big boy issues and big boy problems that I started to actually pray to God perhaps to get me out of trouble and help me in my young adulthood such as College problems, Marriage problems, Parenting problems and then eventually partying too much. After A failed marriage at a very young age I really didn’t have a plan for my life so I Joined a rock band and started traveling, writing and recording a lot of music. It was great for a while and I was pretty productive and happy for a while. But life on the road can eat you up and spit you out. Too much freedom is not a good thing. My lifestyle had dramatically changed after a few short years. I had always been a day time person pretty much, but soon I started living for the night. My nights got longer and longer and my days got shorter and shorter. Thinking back I know that Satan had me right where he wanted me…. in the dark… Afraid of the light with increasing anxiety, loneliness and fear. After years of living in the dark, distancing myself from friends and family and numbing myself from reality, I called out to Jesus! Literally! I remember waking up in the middle of the night and I remember the air being sucked out of my body and I remember seeing a bright light getting farther and farther away from me and I couldn’t move. At that moment…. I yelled out “SAVE ME JESUS”.
One single moment. One single statement. One single request can change the trajectory of a persons life. And it did. Jesus heard me and Jesus saved me. Not only did he save me but he put someone in my life that helped me walk, talk and live the way God had intended me to live. He gave me a person that brought me out of the darkness and into the light in many ways. He put someone into my life who holds me accountable and makes me a better person, better than I would have ever been on my own. He gave me my wife Jamie.
How did I come to know Christ?
Jamie helped me know Jesus and actually led me to say the sinners prayer,(it was actually over the phone when she had to go away on a business trip to Florida). I accepted the invitation and asked Jesus to be the Lord of My life. I admitted that living my life my way was not working for me and I decided to lay everything at His feet and let Him take the wheel. What a weight that was lifted. My sins were forgiven (past, present and future).
I was on fire for the Lord and became a sponge for his word and started reading, studying, learning the Bible enthusiastically every day.
I then found New Hope Church. Wow…. now this was not what I remembered church being like and I fell in love with my God in my church with my wife and my family. It was there that I picked up the book Purpose Driven Life by Pastor Rick warren. The best book (besides the Bible) that I have ever read. I didn’t just read it, I experienced it with my church as the whole church went thru the book together.
The questions of my youth were all answered in that book….Why am I here?….What is the meaning of life? I soon learned from the first four words in the book that” It’s Not About Me”!
We were planned for God's pleasure
- so your first purpose is to offer real worship.
We were formed for God's family
- so your second purpose is to enjoy real fellowship.
We were created to become like Christ,
- so your third purpose is to learn real discipleship.
We were shaped for serving God
- so your fourth purpose is to practice real ministry.
We were made for a mission
- so your fifth purpose is to live out real evangelism
- How is my life after accepting Christ as my Lord and savior?
My life after becoming a Christian has been very rich, very happy, very fulfilling and my fears have gone away. I no longer live in the dark. Satan has no rule over my life. I try my best to live for Christ and realize that I am a sinner but I am forgiven. I realize that I may stumble and fall. But Christ will pick me up again. I realize that I will now be able to live forever with the creator of the universe. I realize now that this world is a temporary home. I am blessed. And when I leave this world I will live in a place that has no fear or anxiety or depression or hatred or pain or suffering or………sin.
If you are reading this you probably have questions and maybe you have thought about becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. Well… That is the most important decision you will ever make and I’m here to help. That is why I wrote this testimony and that is why I built this website. To help more people become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Those who know me know that it is out of my comfort zone to scream things from the mountain tops, I am a shy person by nature, but this is too important to be silent about. Please feel free to leave your email address and any questions and I will do my best to help. God bless, jay.