I was blessed to be born to parents that called on the Name of the Lord. Not only that, most of my family also were believers and it was the center of our lives. In addition to being raised in a Christian home, I was also raised by many other faithful Christians that worshipped with us at the Portland church of Christ. As a child, a foundation of truth and love was laid before me to follow. There were numerous elders, deacons, bible school teachers, ministers, and fellow Christians that taught me how to live like Jesus. I was taught the word, watched as many taught by example, and was even rebuked through love by many people from the church.
As I went through adolescence, I didn’t always follow the path that was diligently laid out for me and sometimes rebelled against these teachings. Even when I was selfishly going my own way, I never forgot the teachings of my youth. I always thought I would act more like a Christian when I was a full-fledged adult. I am thankful that the Lord was patient with me during this time and allowed me to find the life he had set out for me again. This is one of the reasons that II Peter 3:9 is my favorite verse,
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
After I started to find my way back, the Lord blessed me with a Christian wife and future mother. Because of her, my faith reached a level I couldn’t have done on my own. We were then blessed with a healthy daughter, and she has made my love for humanity again reach a level I couldn’t have done on my own. Being a father has given me a better understanding and appreciation for my own father and more importantly God. I know that my story and my work is not done, and I know that I can improve and do more to spread the Gospel and further the Kingdom of God. Having said that, my story is the same as everyone else’s because there is no story without the cross. The unconditional love shown to us by God and Jesus before we were ever born make the Christian life one worth living. The redeeming power of his blood that allows us to dream of heaven because we could never do it on our own is what I try to remember each day.
I John 3:20, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”