Pastor Tom's Testimony

I grew up in a small town in Texas.  At 9 years of age I went to a Christian Camp for a week and heard the story of Jesus.  While some of my friends gave their lives to Jesus, I did not.  Before camp I was told I was too young to make that decision.  But I understood the story of Jesus and I was ready, and yet I did nothing. 
I did not hear the Gospel clearly again until after High School.  During the years in between I tried to fill the hole in my life with sports, music, and other adventures. All these preoccupations were my attempts to try and impress others.  I thought that if others we impressed by my abilities that I could convince myself that my life had meaning.  But even when I did well, I was still empty.  The realization that true meaning cannot come from others was beginning to force me to look elsewhere for my purpose.
A few days after my High School graduation I was convinced by the lead guitarist in our garage band to be the blind date for his girlfriend’s friend.  The date was a disaster.  But the two girls came down the next weekend to hear us play and that began a real romance.  The blind date girl changed her mind about me when I sang “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night (her favorite group). 
Only a few days later she informed me that she had made a decision to follow Jesus and wanted to take me to a Gospel Crusade at a Football stadium.  I had no objection.  While sitting on the grass of a football field (at about the 40 yard line) I heard the same message I had heard at age 9.  The Lord broke my heart as the preacher described the price Jesus paid on the cross for my sins.  I wept for over ten minutes at the end of the sermon and within a few days I made the commitment to give my life to Jesus.
I told the pastor of the church we were attending of my commitment and of my desire to follow Jesus in baptism.  What peace to know I was now living in obedience to the Lord.  Now Jesus was in charge and life has been advancing with purpose ever since.  All the peace and purpose that I had been seeking was now finally found.  It was not found in the opinions of others or even within my own opinions.  It was found in the realization that the Lord Who created me in His image had a purpose for me that could only be found through His forgiveness.  And all my failures were paid in full by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
From that moment I began a great adventure.  Growing in Jesus, learning His Word, sharing Him with others, are all continual processes that bring adventure to every day of my life.  It is not always easy, but it is always affirming of the purpose for which the Lord created and saved me. 
By the way, I married the girl.  Peggy and I were married five months after we met, while we were still 18.  I surrendered to Preach the Gospel at age 19, was pastoring at 20 and have been serving the Lord as best I can ever since. 
Only one regret.  I wish I had those 9 years back from age 9 to 18.  It would have been so much better to have Jesus lead me through Junior High and High School.
He has a purpose for your life as well. It begins by giving Jesus your life, trusting Him as Lord (Romans 10:9).
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